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Thr ItHlrK 





Author of Merit Paluiu, Day of Immense Suit, etc, 

Pbotqgnpbic fllustratfoitf ty Rokrt Niks, Jr, 









II Now, m LIMA 46 












INDEX 303 

The lonely Puna Frontispiece 


White guano islands rise out of the sea 20 

The crumbling walls of Chan-Chan 28 

The Pacific breaks at the foot of barren cliffs 36 

A portrait vase 44 

The PLr/a San Martin, Lima 68 

A patio in Lima 76 

El Misti 84 

In the Sierra 92 

A street in Cuzco 116 
A Dominican monk admires the Inca stone-work of the 

Temple of the Sun in Cuzco 124 

A descendant of the Incas 132 

Llamas at the walls of Sacsahuamin 140 

A man of the Sierra 148 

A redoubt of the fortress of Saaahuamin 156 

Pisac 164 

Woman of Pisac 172 

She wears her hair in the style of Chinchcros 196 

A llama and his Indian 204 

Prc-lnca stone-work at Olbntaytambo 212 

The gorge of the Urubamba 220 

Terraced streets in the city of Machu Picchu 228 

The tower at Machu Picchu 236 

The lofty sundial at Machu Picchu 244 

The peak above Machu Picchu 252 

"La PemchoU" 260 

A balsa on Lake TJticaca 268 

Wings over Peru 280 

Sketch Map at Peru 300 


THIS is the very personal story of a journey in time* 

I was at work on a novel of sixteenth-century Peru, and I wanted 
to know in the flesh those places identified with my hero and my 
heroine. The novel Day of Immense Sun covered the ten years 
immediately preceding the Spanish Conquest, and ended on the 
15th of November, 1533, with Pizarro marching victorious into 

But this expedition in time proved so fascinating, so rich in the 
material of human living, that I found it impossible to limit it 
to the period of the novel And so I went back to the beginning, 
and traveled through the centuries in Peru down to the present 

Peruvian Pageant is the story of that experience- It has grown 
out of an impulse to share with the reader what is to me the 
greatest of all pleasures the fusing of a personal journey with 
the excitement of historical research in my chosen field of Spanish- 

And in the telling of the tale I have not said that this or that 
is important ami must be included: I have simply let memory 
wander at will through the centuries, selecting for me the events 
and emotions and personalities which stand out above all others* 

Along the way there was everywhere kindness, for which I 
would express appreciation. And for the illustrations I am grate- 
ful to my husband, Robert Niles Jr., who is the Roberto of the 

But there could have been no journey had there not txsen men 
to believe sufficiently in its object to make it possible* Gratitude 
for the joy of this experience in Peru goc$ therefore to: William 
Van Dusen, John Douglas MacGregor, Captain E, V* Ricken- 
backer, Ambassador Fred Morris Dearing, Elmer J. Faucett, and 
L & BiaiKfeiL 

Bum Niua 
New York City, 
Jftitutfjr, 1937* 




THEJUE is nothing leisurely about an airport; everything happens 
quickly; planes alight, other planes fly away, welcoming and ar- 
riving crowds become all at once crowds of farewell and de- 

The faces of those who had come to see us off were suddenly 
detached from the group impersonality, and moved toward us; 
while briefly the monster phosphorescent bug waited. There was 
a fleeting confusion of handshakes and embraces; and a voice 
saying, I brought you this; it weighs hardly anything/* . . * 

Then, without quite knowing how we got there, Roberto and 
I were on board the plane; Roberto going with me as far 
as Miami where he had a business matter to attend to. For an 
instant, through the plane windows, there were the faces of friend- 
ship and affection, before we taxied down the field, and the plane 
was off in the night 

All so quickly; no prolonged leave-taking, no wandering about 
the decks of a boat, no inspection of cabins and saloons, no or- 
chestra playing, no warning beating of a gong to order visitors 
ashore, no tedious maneuvering away from a dock, no last-minute 
calls from ship to land, no slow pulling out, no lingering waving. 
You've gone so quickly that you exclaim to yourself in surprise, 
"Why, I've gone!** And the thought is scarcely formulated bo- 
fore the plane has climbed high and the airport has vanished* 

We were riding with the moon; a full moon which polished 
the rilvcr of our wings* Very soon I got the sense later so 
familiar of looking down into the sky instead of at the earth* 
Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore appeared as great 
glittering constellations in a dark night, with scattered here and 



there between them, the clustered lights of lesser constellations; 
and stretching through the darkness a lane of beacons, each an 
isolated planet in my delusion of a reversed heaven and earth. 

"Why, I've gone!" From time to time, incredulous, I repeated 
this to myself. "I've gone!" I had wanted this so long; worked 
so hard to bring it true that when at last it happened I couldn't 
believe in it. 

Then, all at once, the distant goal of Peru seemed so immediate 
that even the Eastern Air-liner, flying between New York and 
Miami, appeared to me to share my sense of Peru as the destination, 
for as the plane headed south I felt that it flew at the steady speed 
of migration, its nose pointed to Peru. . . . 

Miami in the morning. . . . Yes, but I was really flying back 
into the sixteenth century, back to the Inca Empire and the 
Spanish Conquest. 

Miami . . . Miami was only incidental. Why, I even carried in 
my bag a letter of introduction in Latin; a talisman which would 
surely admit me to the century, for it was addressed to the Prior 
of the Monastery of Santo Domingo, that Order to which the 
first Catholic priest ever to enter Peru had belonged. 

"Admodum Revcrendc Pater, 

Sdutem in Domino ct Salutationem 

in S. P. N Dominico: Blair Niles, 
domina Americana Statuum 
Facderatorum ct scriptor insignis, 
regalem civitatem Uwiae visitat. . . " 

This letter asking for me the co-operation of the Prior of the 
Order in Lima seemed almost a letter to the priest Valverde of 
four hundred years ago. And when Valverde had read it, of 
course he would present me to Francisco Pizzaro! 

The American Clipper took off from Miami early on the fol- 
lowing morning. Roberto and I breakfasted at the airport, while 
a loud-speaker shouted orders and instructions: 



Will those who have baggage in the check-room call for the 
same immediately ? Will Mr. or Mrs. This or That report at the 
desk with their passports? There is a telephone message for 
Miss Somebody Else. 

And finally: Passengers for Jamaica, Barranquilla and the Canal 
Zone get aboard the Clipperl . . . 

Then, all at once, I have left Roberto and am boarding the 
Clipper. So it is true that the thing called Business won't let him 
go; not now; later, perhaps, but not now. Of course my mind had 
known this for some weeks but my heart wouldn't believe it. 
Now through the window of the Clipper I see him on the dock, 
his camera in his hand, the camera which he'd planned to take to 
Peru. But the engines have started and I am going to Peru alone. 
The pontoons are washed with foam which splashes against the 
windows. There is nothing to be seen but foam. The Clipper 
bounds from the water. Roberto is become an indistinguishable 
dot in the crowd on the terrace, and then even the airport is no 

The sun is bright on deep blue water, and below us is a green 
necklace of islands studded with lagoons, vividly blue. But in 
a little while they too have gone, and there is only water . . . 
meeting the sky at a vague, out-of-f ocus horizon line. 

The thoughts and events of the past weeks flash in and out of 
my mind, making and breaking connection between the life I 
have left and the adventure toward which I fly. Certain phrases 
out of a farewell letter from a friend come to me like words 
shouted from the land across an ever-widening stretch of water: 

''Please have a good time. . . . People really don't get as 
much as they can and ought. ... 7 don't want to go to heaven, 
do you? All I want is to be young enough and footloose in 
this world. . . . What more could one want?" 

Yes, I felt that way too. ... I didn't want to go to heaven, but 
to Peru ... by air. 

Yet the idea was unbelievable, for the Clipper is like a luxurious 



compartment car which in a mood of elation has got beyond 
itself and flown recklessly away. It is paneled in light natural 
wood and upholstered in soft cushions of peacock blue. Each 
compartment has a picture, done in sepia, of the various methods 
by which man has traveled: by caravel, sailboat, balloon. 

A purser, who fulfilled also the role of steward, distributed the 
Miami Morning Herald, and dealt out the usual cellophane packets 
of gum and cotton. He inquired whether we'd like hot consomm 
or iced tomato juice. He offered magazines. . . . 

If I only could be sure, I thought, that Roberto would be able 
to join me later. It wouldn't be right for anyone to miss Peru. 
Peru wasn't a thing you could pass up with a "Not today, thank 
you." Peru didn't knock at everybody's door, not even once in 
the course of life. 

People don't have as much as they can and ought! 

The pilot came through and stopped to speak to me: "Nothing 
interesting," he said, "happens in the air. . . . Oh, maybe you 
might see a whale . . . about every ten trips we see a whale." 

But the weather had just been radioed, and he could let me 
have that, if it would interest me: "Ceiling unlimited. Visibility 
unlimited. Wind four miles an hour." And if I'd like a look 
at the charts, he'd let me have them. 

They were navigators' charts printed before there were air- 
ships, and so the air route had been superimposed in pencil, the 
charts themselves having taken no thought for the concerns of air- 
planes. Depths in fathoms were sprinkled about the sea; buoys 
were listed with their colors and stripes, and it was noted whether 
they were whistling, or equipped with bells. And only such 
matters of the land as were important to the life of the sea, were 

It was, therefore, impossible to follow the route of the Clipper 
in detail, as Roberto and I were fond of doing on shipboard. 
With the West India or the South American Pilot we would sit 
cross-legged on the bow-deck, tracing the way in and out of har- 
bors, noting currents and reefs and anchorages. Thus, vicariously, 
we had once at midnight come into the harbor of Cape Haitian, 



watching for the "occulting white light" which, we read, might 
be seen seventeen miles off Picolet, and noting that, from the 
moment of the Light's appearance, "the mariner should give the 
shore a berth of at least a mile and a half, until said light should 
bear from 160 to 220, when he should stand in toward the Light, 
avoiding the Outer Shoals, the Shoal of Gran Mouton, the Mardi 
Gras Reef and the Shoal of La Trompeuse." 

I should like to have been able similarly to follow my flight to 

But even while I thought of it we were swooping down upon 
Havana, with the purser shouting into my ear, above the roar of 
engines, that there was Morro Castle, and there the Malecon, and 
the Prado. 

But Havana was no more than an alighting, to deposit some 
passengers and take on others, to leave, and take on, mail. We 
were flying with the international mail and stops were brief: 
the mail must everywhere make its connections. 

From Havana the Clipper more or less followed the coast of 
Cuba as far as Cienfuegos. We flew over sugar plantations bril- 
liantly green, over forests and broad rivers, and above a line of 
surf breaking on white beaches* And then we headed for the 
open sea. 

The four motors of the Clipper raced through the afternoon, 
yet there was never any sense of speed: but for the occasional tip- 
ping of its wings the plane appeared stationary, with the sea and 
the sky changing almost imperceptibly from mood to mood. 

"Nothing interesting happens in the air." ... I reflected, wonder- 
ing that the pilot did not realize how interesting and how com- 
paratively new a thing in the world he is himself. Belonging 
to a profession removed entirely from the taint of ballyhoo, the 
air pilot, like the ship's captain, successfully carries out his re- 
sponsibility, or he does not: it's not arguable whether his ship 
has been safely delivered at its appointed destination at the time 
specified, with cargo and passengers intact, for these are facts 
which cannot be distorted by personal bias or misrepresentation. 



And like all men who follow the trades of reality the air pilot 
is unaffected and direct, a man economical in words, steady of 
eye and nerve, quietly intent upon the thing in hand, with a 
concentration never tense, alert but relaxed, ready for quick 
adaptation to whatever may come. And he is a new thing in the 
world, since he must add to the qualities of a sea captain this 
capacity for instant action: in the air there is little time for 
deliberation, the pilot's decisions must be immediate. And it is 
the bringing together in one person of these apparently contra- 
dictory qualities that has created a type. 

As the pilot takes his pkce in the cockpit, or superintends the 
details which prepare for his take-offs, he is unhurried, his voice 
is quiet, yet there is that quick precision in all that he does. He 
accepts confidently the hazards of his calling, and by his very 
attitude of mind he has cooperated with laboratory engineers to 
reduce the risks of the air, until passengers are now safer in a 
plane than in an automobile. He speaks in the most natural and 
offhand manner of "taking the plane out," or "bringing the 
plane in"; whether it is over long stretches of ocean, or over the 
high passes of the Andes. Equally he takes as a matter of course 
the eternal vigilance exacted by his trade: vigilance seems a part 
of his uniform, he dons it as simply as he reaches for his pilot's 
cap. And thus clothed in vigilance, he takes his place in the 
cockpit before the complicated array of switches and buttons, 
dials and valves and levers. He tests his radio, his instruments 
and his brakes; he knows how much oil and gas he carries, he has 
the latest weather report; then he runs the plane down the field, 
stops and tests each engine, making ready for the moment of 
peril which comes immediately after a plane has left the ground 
or the water before it has gained the required altitude to make a 
safe forced landing, if necessary. 
'^Nothing interesting. . . . Oh, maybe a whale . . ." 
The pilot had no idea how much more interesting than a whale 
is the man who captains a great Clipper airship! 

On the flight from Miami I observed my fellow passengers, 


White guano islands rise out of the se 


curious to know what sort of people traveled by the Clipper ships. 
Among them, one had dropped his spectacle case: it bore die 
name of an optician in Maracaibo, and so I guessed correctly that 
he was in the oil business, and I knew by his manner, and by 
the quality of his tropical white suit that he was a person of im- 
portance in Maracaibo. And there was a young woman journalist 
on her way to Jamaica to write an article on the honeymoon pos- 
sibilities of that Island. A well-groomed and very Nordic man 
turned out to be the head of the Scadta airplane company in 
Colombia, and it was on one of the planes of that company that 
Roberto and I had made our first flight twelve years before. And 
as always on the planes of the Pan-American Airways, there were 
representatives of great industrial corporations, traveling by air 
because to them time means dollars. Some day when it is realized 
that in flight the world is discovered anew, travelers will under- 
stand that air travel means more than speed and money. 

In the late afternoon, after he had served tea, I engaged the 
purser in talk. I was interested in our cargo; what did we carry 
in addition to the international mail? 

Well, he said, there were wedding rings billed to Costa Rica, 
tennis strings to Buenos Aires, and he broke off as though he 
had suddenly remembered something if I would excuse him he'd 
be back in a minute. And when he returned he brought two big, 
rather flat boxes, both vibrant with excitement, for one was filled 
with baby ducks and the other with baby chicks: each box labeled 
"Thoroughbred and Free from Disease," with, in the case of the 
chicks, the added information, "Quality White Leghorn to the 
best of our belief." 

'They were just ten hours old/* the purser commented, "when 
we left Miami this morning.'* 

The chicks, he said, were bound for Jamaica, the ducks for 
Maracaibo; the Clippers carried shipments of them on nearly 
every trip: in the tropics poultry begins to deteriorate by the 
second generation, so there's a big demand for fresh stock. Some- 
times the plane had as many as two thousand on board. 



When the purser had taken his fluffy, piping charges away I 
turned again to contemplation of the scene through which we 
flew. That subtle change had taken place when, though it is still 
day, there is in the air a premonition of sunset, an hour with 
always a suggestion of heartbreak in its beauty. 

Then, on the left, suddenly there were the lovely hills of Jamaica 
rising out of the sea, greenly wooded in the foreground, blue in 
the distance, with isolated houses scattered along an undulating 
shore scalloped in green-blue water, and, running inland, a red 
dirt road. 

When we left the shore, it was to cross a big blue bay, the dark 
shadow of the Clipper crossing beneath us like a great dragonfly 
skimming the surface of the water far below, while with us, 
aloft, the clouds were now tinted softly rose. 

But 1 don't want to go to heaven, do you? . . . The world as it is, 
that is good enough. . . , 

Again the words came back to me across the miles. 

We reached the far side of the bay and once more followed 
the rim of the Island; over neat fields, very green; over forest; 
over a village; over a straight road, this time very white and 
parallel with the shore; over farms with chimneys puffing grey- 
blue smoke. 

Now there was another bay with a bright green atoll in the 
middle of it, and rising up before us the beautiful ranges of the 
interior, while on the ocean horizon, a glowing sun was setting. 

Here was Jamaica seen in its entirety, because seen from the air. 

Then we were banking, losing altitude rapidly, coming down 
to brush the water lightly, then to churn it into spray, and at last 
to taxi up to our dock. 

And there was the customs officer and the familiar black 
Jamaican doctor in a white uniform. Yet it was that same morn- 
ing that I had left Roberto standing with his camera on the terrace 
of the Miami airport! 

After the formalities of landing were over we drove over a 
country road from the airport to the hotel in Kingston. The 



air was freshly sweet with darkness fast dropping down over the 

And for me all the enchantment of the tropics of the New 
World was in the scent and texture of the breeze stirring in the 
fronds of palm trees. 

From the moment of landing in Jamaica my journey to Peru 
was a drawing together of many threads of experience to form a 
new pattern; new and at the same time familiar, the whole en- 
hanced and made complete. 

The Myrtle Bank Hotel in Kingston, for example, had always 
stood for me as the threshold of some particular desire, the place 
from which dreams begin to come true. And with the absurdity 
of the ego, I can't quite believe that the hotel functions when I 
am gone; surely it is in but a state of suspended animation. Now, 
for instance, while I am writing, it cannot be possible that the 
Myrtle Bank goes on. 

So, after leaving the American Clipper, when our car drove up 
before the door, the hotel gave the impression of springing into 
action; black hotel boys in white coats and dark trousers, running 
out to take our bags; clerks coming alive where they stood at 
their desks ready to assign us rooms; the easy chairs seeming to 
have waited on the veranda just where we had left them, waited 
for us to come and recline upon them; and displayed in a stand 
in the hall, postcards, newspapers, magazines and sweets, waiting 
for us to purchase them; and beyond the back veranda, near the 
margin of the bay, an open-air swimming pool inviting, with 
everywhere welcoming palms lifting high heads as though we, 
whom they've been so long expecting, had finally arrived, and 
once more their fronds might come to life in the wind. 

There are certain sensations which one collects, as one goes 
along, and among those which never fade in my memory is 
the instant of arrival at the Myrtle Bank, associated as it is with 
what lies beyond the portal of desire. ; 

I like the fact that the hotel has no elevator and that there are 
no telephones in the rooms. These omissidns imply a sense of 
essential values, as though the hotel understood how much more 



important it is that your windows should look down a walk which 
proceeds quietly to the blue bay, that palms should shadow this 
walk, and that the door of your room should be slatted to admit 
the breeze; yes, and to let the light of dawn creep gently in. 

I was lonely that night in Jamaica. 

The stars were so bright and so near that they seemed to tremble 
in the waving tops of the palms. An orchestra was tuning up in a 
ballroom, roofed, but otherwise opening wide upon a broad 
veranda. It was the regular Tuesday night "cruise dance." Drinks 
went about on trays deftly balanced on black hands. Groups 
lingered about the tables in a dining room also open wide to the 
night. There were women in thin pastel dresses under the trees, 
in the dining room, on the piazzas, the evening uniform of their 
escorts merging with the shadows. The scene might have been 
labeled 'The Party" and signed with the butterfly of Whistler. 

British voices drifted over to me, discussing local Colonial 

"Yes," I decided, "it is so beautiful that I am lonely." 

And then I remembered the Myrtle Bank's planters' punches, 
the best on earth, worthy of comparison with the mint juleps 
of my Virginia childhood; the same fragrant mint, the same 
shredded ice and frosted glasses, the same powdered sugar; the 
only difference being that the planters' punch adds lime juice 
and pineapple and substitutes Jamaica rum for the rye or bourbon 
of a julep. 

So, in my loneliness, remembering a planter's punch, I sought 
the solace that lies in rum and mint, lime juice and powdered 
sugar, properly iced. 

It was still dark when the crowing of Jamaican roosters re- 
minded me that at a quarter before five I must be up and off again 
on the Clipper. In the dawn bur little group of passengers break- 
fasted on the front veranda while hotel boys packed into the 
waiting cars our bags, and the gaily colored wicker baskets in 
which the Mrytle Bank had put up our luncheons. 



And then we were off, to fly high above clouds like huge 
soaring swans, with beneath them flocks of lesser clouds, and far 
away the sea, over whose surface traveled the dark little bird 
shadow which was us. Again I had the delusion of looking down, 
not at the earth but at the sky, the sea appearing as a deep blue 
sky very sofdy streaked with flimsy white cloud. 

The assiduous purser served the mid-morning consomme and 
iced tomato juice, and I withdrew from contemplation of a Hmjt- 
less blue and read the Kingston morning newspaper, a copy of 
which had been at each seat when we boarded the plane. 

The paper, I thought, seemed an echo of last night's talk on 
the veranda of the Myrtle Bank: British Colonial talk in rich- 
voiced, clipped syllables running up and down the scale; ahs and 
pahs instead of hours and powers: 

Somebody bowling in great form . . five wickets for eleven 
runs. Only two batsmen shaped against the St. George's 
bowling. Intercolony football . . . Barbados versus Granada. 
Bananas . . . winds . . . rains ... so many "stems" down . , . 
Panama disease. The names of places . , . Buff Bay ... St. 
Mary's . . . Titchfield . . . Port Royal. Lady So-and-So's garden 
party. . , , 

Cricket, football, tennis ... the all-important banana industry 
with the calamities of disease and winds. . . . Society, hyphenated 
names and tides. . . . This might be any paper, any year, any 
month, any day in Jamaica. 

But already Jamaica seemed remote, so swiftly had we flown 
away. The next soil on which we were to stand would be that 
of Barranquilla in the Republic of Colombia. 

The Kingston paper fell from my hand while my mind went 
back to my first flight. It had been by Junfyr hydroplane from 
Barranquilla, six hundred miles up the Magdalena River. That 
was a dozen years ago, and the Scadta airplane service in Colombia 
was then the longest in the Western Hemisphere. 

And even while I was remembering that first flight the airways 



of the world were constantly being extended, constantly speeded 
up, the luxury of their equipment constantly increased. By the 
time this- is in print the overnight stop at Jamaica will have been 
eliminated, and also the overnight in Cristobal. Then the first 
night will be Barranquilla, the second Guayaquil. Peru will be 
two days and a half from Miami instead of three and a half. 

The future "upstairs," as they say, may be almost anything you 
choose to dream. 

Yet I think the spirit of the air must remain the same. For, 
comparing this flight aboard a great Clipper ship with the experi- 
ence of the little Junker plane I find that what I would now record 
tallies, almost word for word, with what I wrote then. 

I had said that unless you have seen a country from the air 
you cannot picture it as a whole, any more than you can know 
a human countenance by examining it bit by bit, an isolated eye, 
a detached mouth, an eyebrow, a nose; these assembled by an act 
of memory cannot give you the face as it really is. To know a 
country intimately it will of course always be necessary to study 
it feature by feature, and in this even the old hurricane deck of 
mule-back need not fear the rivalry of an airplane. But to see a 
land in its entirety it is necessary to fly over it. 

Also on my first flight I had realized that the air not only gives 
physical perspective, but that it extends the vision of the mind. 
In the air one thinks, as well as sees, further. 

And I dare to hope that, looking through the space which sepa- 
rates the earth from the plane, always the confusion of values 
which so often harasses us down there, will clear away, that when 
seen from the air things will fall always into their proper places, 
with no uncertainty as to what is of moment and what is eternal. 

As we approached the South American coast the Clipper rose 
and fell, its wings rocked; yet none of this appeared to have been 
caused by the wind, but gave the impression of being the mood of 
the plane itself, as though it temperamentally lurched and rocked 
in still air above a sea, which long before Barranquilla was visible 
to us was stained with the yellow waters of the Magdalena River. 



Following that yellow current we came down at the Barran- 
quilla airport, precisely where, twelve years before Roberto and I 
had taken off in the Cauca. At that time the port was no more 
than a hangar squatting upon the muddy river-bank; it is now a 
busy junction. 

In a breezy waiting room, with on one side the river, and on 
the other a palm-bordered street leading to the town, there is a 
big blackboard on which are chalked the comings and goings 
of planes; planes into the interior to Bogota, the capital, a thou- 
sand miles away in the Andes; planes connecting Barranquilla 
with Medellin, the famous Cauca Valley, Cali and the Pacific ports; 
planes to Santa Marta and Cartagena on the north coast to Mara- 
caibo in Venezuela, where the fluffy young ducks were going; and 
planes to the Cristobal for which we and the wedding rings for 
Costa Rica were bound. 

At Barranquilla, there was an hour's interval when passengers 
opened their lunch boxes in a bar where drinks might be ordered; 
the south-bound passengers eating Myrtle Bank lunches, the north- 
bound with lunches provided by the Hotel Washington at Cristo- 
bal: and of course each eyed the others' lunches: which would 
have deviled eggs and which only hard-boiled ones? 

After lunch I sat outside under a gay striped awning, talking 
to a Scadta official and watching the life of the port. 

What had become of the Cauca, I asked. 

"Oh, you can't see the Cauca, she's been scrapped. And her 
sister plane, the Bogotd, is in a museum in Germany; in Berlin, I 
think they said." 

So a plane aged twelve years becomes either a museum piece^ 
or is scrapped! But notwithstanding these swift changes in air 
travel, flight itself, the significance of the experience, remains the 
same, unaltered, enduring. 

We left Barranquilla for Panama with a tail wind; flying in the 
Commodore, an amphibian so much smaller than the Clipper 
that it really did seem as though an improbable bug had flown 
away with us in its stomach. 



We flew over the now peaceful seas of the Spanish Main where 
once pirates and buccaneers, Dutch, and British, so menaced the 
merchantmen of Spain that armed galleons convoyed the trade 
ships across the ocean in great fleets. 

The low green coast line lay serene beneath us, as though all 
storm and stress were forever over. The blood of conquest had 
faded, slave ships came no more freighted with black agony. It 
had been three hundred years since the saint, Pedro Claver, had 
last scourged himself for the glory of his God. 

The Commodore brought us in four hours to Cristobal where 
we were to spend the night. 

The Hotel Washington at Cristobal is one of the famous cross- 
roads of the world. I had often stopped there on my way some- 
where else, and once Roberto and I had stayed several days wait- 
ing for the United Fruit boat which was to take us home. 

Partaking of tea and toast with plenty of raspberry jam, we 
used to sit looking out across the bay, watching the shipping of 
the world come in and out of the harbor. 

And part of the ritual of Cristobal for us is to take one of the 
dilapidated open carriages and drive about Cristobal and Colon. 
I am never quite sure where the Panamanian Colon ends and the 
United Statesian Cristobal begins; for they both have the aspect of 
Spanish-America, with, in addition, a liberal sprinkling of Oriental 
shops where you may purchase the embroideries, ivories, and 
brasses of India, China and Japan. 

The carriages are driven by negroes, and drawn by single horses 
whose trotting feet clink delightfully on the pavements. Most 
of the horses are grey, and the negroes very black Jamaicans who 
tell you that they date back to a time before the United States took 
over the digging of the Canal. 

Stopping overnight on the way to Peru, it seemed to me that 
carriages, horses and drivers had grown fewer and older: the 
carriages were battered and tipsy, as though the heavier passengers 
had always sat on the same side; the drivers drooped with age, 
and the horses with a weary dejection; as if they'd just been to 


The crumbling walls of Chan-Chan 


fortune-tellers who had prophesied their extinction; while auto- 
mobiles had increased in numbers and in purring magnificence. 

But the Hotel Washington remained unchanged; its halls as 
wide and high as I had remembered them, and still you looked 
through them, past waving palms to the sea, and as always the 
air was so relaxing that there wasn't a tense nerve left in your 

But for all its dear familiarity, I couldn't quite believe in it; 
it wasn't possible to have come from Miami in two days; not even 
though the sea and the palms, and the great bushes of scarlet 
hibiscus, and the clinking feet of horses on the pavements, and 
the moist clinging heat, all assured me that I was really in Panama. 

From the first I fell happily into the routine of this air journey; 
the long beautiful days of flight, the coming to rest at night at 
some tropical hotel; just tired enough to welcome with every sense, 
a bath, a good dinner, and sleep. I began to feel that this flying 
dream would never come to an end, that f orevermore, in prepar- 
ing for bed, I would automatically arrange each detail of the 
morning dressing, ready to make the early start for another day in 
the air. Dressing had become synonymous with packing, for by 
the time I was dressed I was packed, and when I was packed I 
was dressed, as though by well-oiled machinery, with no haste, no 
confusion, and nothing left behind: even the breakfast having 
been ordered and the bill paid before going to bed. 

At the hour of our early departures the hotels were very quiet 
The dining rooms were deserted, but for the passengers by air 
and the waiters deputed to serve them. Even die chirp of birds 
seemed subdued as if in consideration for sleepers, and the streets 
were not so much as half awake, as passengers and bags and lunch 
boxes drove through them out to the airport; with a tiny fresh 
breeze just barely stirring before the imminent heat of day. 

By the time we were up and off, the eastern sky was palest gold, 
and we were looking at the Canal below, as at a satin ribbon 
stretched between two oceans, with miniature ships like a design 



decorating the ribbon, while a tiny train crawled across the Isthmus 
from one cluster of little red-roofed, mosquito-netted houses to 
another, with away, to the right and the left, forested country, 
green, green. 

When we reached the Pacific side the sun had risen and dazzling 
light lay along the water. 

The purser had passed the customary package of chewing gum 
and cotton, with the difference that now it was labeled in Span- 
ish: "Este paquetc contiene dgod6n absorbente para sus oidos. Y 
Chide Wrigley." 

As for the morning paper which we found as usual at our seats, 
that had gone half Spanish; the Spanish section enclosed upside 
down within the English one. 

After we had left behind the Canal and the green offshore islets, 
I read the paper in the desultory fashion of a traveler whose eyes 
arc constantly straying from the page to contemplation of the 
world: my mind wandering from the page, and through the 
window to "visibility unlimited," and back again to the page. 
Reading first in English and then in Spanish, I felt that life is a 
wanner thing to the Panamanian than to us, for every social an- 
nouncement in Spanish was accompanied by friendly editorial com- 
ment. If, for example, a certain South American Ambassador and 
his family is in transit to Washington the entire family is saluted 
and wished a happy journey. If there has been a birthday party 
in honor of a little girl, the statement is followed by, "We send 
our felicitations." Any who have gone to the hospital have the 
editorial wish for a speedy recovery. Arrivals who have been 
absent are affectionately welcomed back. The editorial voice is 
pleased to extend good wishes to a gentleman returning from 
his plantation with his Senora, and his daughters, Rosa, Cristina, 
Maria and the baby Aida. The editor desires to be the first to 
congratulate a couple upon the birth of a child; and he is glad 
to note that in the past few days Senor Tal y Fulano has improved 
in health. Deaths elicit his sympathy and he rejoices with bridal 
pairs. And always the adjectives "distinguida, estimable, apreci- 
able" are generously bestowed. 



Meanwhile, over in the English section of this paper which I 
read in the air, the announcements of sailings and departures, 
weddings and births are printed with as little personal expression 
of interest as the megaphone information of a railroad station. 

And then I forgot the paper. . . . 

The Pacific was darkly sparkling and absolutely pacific. I felt 
completely gone away, up there in the air above it. When Walter 
de la Mare's Midget disappears at the end of his "Memoirs of a 
Midget" she leaves a note pinned to the carpet, announcing with 
a baffling finality, "I have gone away. Miss M." 

I felt suddenly a similar finality. I was gone away. 

For a little while the weary confusion of a great city, in the year 
called "of Our Lord" 1935, had stopped: I had flown away from 
it. It knows how to smuggle itself on board a ship, but it seems 
not yet to have taken to the air. 

And I kept reminding myself that I must not lose this serenity 
of the sky. I must manage to keep it with me after the journey 
was over and I had returned to earth. I must try always to get 
my values straight, to realize which things were of importance 
and which of little moment. 

We were flying along a coast down which Roberto and I had 
once traveled as far as Guayaquil, aboard a small British freighter 
whose captain had described her as just fifty feet too short to take 
the waves. She was an old boat, dirty and rat-ridden. Yet they 
had told me in Cristobal that she was still afloat, while a ship of 
the air, in the pride of youth when the freighter was but an aged 
tub, had been scrapped, and another had been put in a museum 
as a curiosity, an antiquity to be gaped at by passing crowds, 
marveling that such a fossil of the air had ever been. But the 
ancient freighter continued to ply up and down, calling at many 
little ports never seen by a through boat. She had required forty- 
eight hours to carry us from Balboa to Buenaventura; now, by 
air, we would make it in four. 

The thought directed my eyes again to the scene below. After 



flying for a time out of sight we had turned back to the coast. 
The sea had become suddenly jungle, with a yellow river winding 
far inland; a great yellow serpent crawling through the forest. 

Aboard the freighter I had never realized how dense the 
Colombian jungle is on the west coast. 

We were flying lower now, and there was mist blowing in over 
the land, appearing all at once, as is the way of things in the air, 
and in no time it had cast a gauzy veil over the jungle roof, but a 
veil of so delicate a texture that I could see through it to the tree- 
tops below, while through a hole in the mist there was clearly 
shown the river's mouth and the bay into which it pours the waters 
of the far interior, and the leaves and the blossoms which have 
drifted on its broad breast down to the sea. 

Flight is extraordinarily like the process of thinking, episodes 
and pictures merging one into another with apparently effortless 
transition, so smooth that there are no dividing lines separating 
one from another. In a curious way time ceases to be, the past 
and the present, personal memories, historical events, and the 
actual physical scene, all pass in vivid instant flashes. They come 
and go and others take their places, the geographic scene chang- 
ing in the same swift fashion as the procession of life through 
the mind. 

After a brief landing for fuel at Buenaventura we were flying to 
Tumaco. . . . The filthy little freighter had also taken us to 
Tumaco. And there appeared now in my mind the Scotch engi- 
neer aboard that freighter. He appeared standing beside me 
leaning on the ship's rail, and I was encouraging him to talk of 
the West Coast which he knew well, even as far as the Straits of 
Magellan; he had friends in every port "right away down south," 
and he loved the Coast as it deserves. 

And then, as now, I was watching for the Island of Gorgona; 
remembering how four hundred years ago Francisco Pizarro with 
his sixteen loyal followers had waited on Gorgona, starving while 
they waited for a white sail to appear on the horizon; but never 
losing faith in their destiny. They were to conquer Peru for their 
God and their King, and for the treasure of gold and rich lands, 



and for the many Indians who were to be theirs when the Conquest 
was finished* With such a destiny they could wait . . . and 
starve . . . until Almagro came with food and ammunition from 

And remembering, I watched for Gorgona from the air, with 
the chief engineer's voice repeating in my mind, like a phonograph 
record stored away and now brought out to be played once more, 
'Tve been up and down this coast for twenty-one years, and I've 
never seen a light on that island at night nor any sign of life by 
day. It's always just as you see it, lonely and deserted. . . ." 

Had nothing happened there since Almagro had come and the 
conquerors of Peru had sailed away? Had there been nothing 
since their last chant of gratitude to God and to the Blessed Virgin? 

Never a light there at night, nor any sign of life by day. . . . 

Nothing then for four hundred years, but the beat of waves 
on the shore ... the sound of rain falling ... the dear song of 
birds , . . and parrots, noisy flocks of parrots . . . insects too, and 
frogs, tirelessly vocal. 

All as Pizarro had heard them. 

The image of the freighter's engineer vanished and the purser 
of the Commodore was passing lunch boxes, put up for the pas- 
sengers by a Mrs. Goodenough in Crist6bal. Below, the sea was 
dull slate blue, and "upstairs" there was a grand potato salad in 
the lunch box, turkey sandwiches, ham and chicken sandwiches, 
grapes and apples and two kinds of cake, with hot tea supplied 
from a thermos, or beer if you liked. 

Then there was suddenly Gorgona, a small hilly island, blue 
with distance, the tide low on its beach. 

A good lunch in the air, as we flew nearer and nearer to Gorgona, 
where the staunch Pizarro had starved, but never forgot the hours 
of prayer, nor the feast days of the Church : Holy Mary, Mother of 
God. . . . Pray for us poor sinners now and in the hour of our 
death. . . . Holy Mary, blessed among women. . . . 

On the mainland, to the left as we flew, there were beach and 
jungle and river. You never know how snaky a snaky river is 
until you've seen it from the air, when its twisting and turnings no 



longer deceive you and your eye may follow its tortuous course. 
And only from the air can you appreciate how many are the hues 
of green in the jungle and how varied is the texture of the foliage. 

We were flying low, though I had not realized just when we 
had begun to lose altitude. "We're getting ready to land again/' 
the purser said, generous always with information. 

Below us was the delta of a river sprawling untidily in green 
marshes and splaying out in mud flats. Then it was gone, and 
there was another river, coiling about small green islands, which, 
as by witchery, were transformed into tall forest, where treetops 
bloomed yellow, and there was a shadowed river flowing through 

Then ... the forest had vanished, and was become a stretch 
of mud flats, and the mud flats, in turn, an inlet with thatched 
huts and palms on its banks, and the palms had become more 
palms, and the huts were mounted on tall poles to lift them out 
of rainy-season floods. There was a white bird in flight; we were 
low enough to see a child waving to us from the door of one of 
the huts; and the plane was banking down, past a little island 
with a white beach 

That was the Island of Gallo; and again for me it was four 
hundred years ago. For on that strip of beach Pizarro had drawn 
a line in the sand with his sword; on one side was Panama, on 
the other, Peru. A ship had come with orders from the Governor 
of Panama: Pizarro was to return at once to the Isthmus, with his 
men. But Pizarro, defiant, had drawn the line in the sand. 

The Commodore was banking to land at Tumaco, while I re- 
membered. And I seemed to hear Pizarro saying: "On the one 
side ease, on the other death, toil, hunger, rain. . . . Panama, or 
Peru and riches. . . . Let each choose as he feels befits a good 
Castilian. . . . For my part, I go to Peru. . . ." 

And as the plane came down and was moored at the floating 
dock of Tumaco, in my mind sixteen brave men followed Pizarro 
across that line in the sand. 

While the pilot took on gas at Tumaco we waited in long deck 



chairs on the float which gently rose and fell with the movement 
of the water. In a few moments we would be again on the wing, 
but we had no sense of haste on the brief pauses of this flight to 
Peru, just as in the air we had no impression of speed. So, while 
the float at Tumaco pulsed up and down, Panagra's local repre- 
sentative peeled oranges for us with an air of large leisure. "If 
there's bad weather," he said "and the plane over-nights here^ the 
passengers sleep in the chairs." 

It would be a nice experience, I thought, to be rocked to sleep 
by the soft swell of the water, and I wished that it might happen 
on the homeward flight. 

Then by the time the Commodore had gorged itself with gas 
we had finished the oranges prepared for us and were gone; 
flown away with the idea that if reports of the spirit were issued 
in the form of radio weather reports, that sent from Tumaco 
would read: "Leisure unlimited." 

Yet, for all the desultory feeling of this journey, we would spend 
the night in Guayaquil: only four days' flight from New York, 

The purser of the Commodore came through the plane, dealing 
out cards on which he had filled in the date and the hour of our 
passing over the Line. If passengers would add their names and 
addresses they would later receive a diploma from King Neptune, 
commemorating their aerial crossing of the earth's equator. 

Below us was Manta, and at Manta you cross the Equator. 

The freighter had taken on ivory nuts there a thousand bags 
of ivory nuts and boxes of Panama hats marked for London; 
and it had been at Manta that I had leaned over the rail, watching 
a barefoot man a zambo, half negro and half Indian. He'd been 
lying flat on his back in one of the rowboats that had come out 
from shore. I had seen him only by the light of a kerosene lantern 
on the bottom of his boat, for the night had been dark and the 
moon not yet risen. I remembered now how the zambo had been 
stretched out in complete relaxation, and how he had played over 
and over on a harmonica a monotonous little tune which had con- 
veyed a sense of infinity. Time had been no more while I listened. 

And it was the zambo I had remembered rather than the cross- 



ing of the Equator, just as I shall always remember the timelessness 
of those brief moments on the float at Tumaco where we idled in 
deck chairs and watched a citizen of the place peel oranges for us. 

The experiences on the flight from Panama to Lima, I chanced 
to share with Althea Lister, a young woman making the trip by air 
around South America. In the hotel at Cristobal I had spotted her 
immediately as a fellow countrywoman. Later, I found that she 
was herself an air pilot, and so much a creature of the air that 
she remarked to me reflectively: "You know, I've never been on a 
steamer," much as one of another generation might say: "You 
know, Fve never flown." 

Together we had dinner that night in Guayaquil, in a new 
hotel blazing with electricity, and as we were to make a very early 
start in the morning I did not go out to seek the Guayaquil of 
memory. That might be done, I thought, on the way home when 
Roberto and I would be together. 

Thus on my flight south Guayaquil was an interlude made 
up of the proud glare of many lights, of sleep (in the "ladies salon" 
because there was no other available room), of my being therefore 
forgotten, and, save for my own alarm clock, not called in the 
morning, and of driving in the dawn through the slumbering 
town out to the airport, where we took off for Lima. 

Entering the Douglas before other passengers had taken their 
places, the row of single seats on either side of the central aisle, 
each seat with a white linen cover over its head-rest, reminded me 
absurdly of the nuns of the Order of Sts. Vincent and Paul, as 
Roberto and I used to see them in Cayenne, their winged white 
headgear showing above the hacks of the pews in their little 

The Douglas flies high, and almost at once after hopping off 
from Guayaquil we were above great billows of frothy cloud, up 
where the newly risen sun shone bright. And by the time we 
had passed over this bank of cloud we had left Ecuador and were 
above Peru. 

The coast of Peru presents to the air traveler a wrinkled countc- 


The Pacific breaks at the foot of barren cliffs 


nance, for the low hills are seamed and seared like the face of age, 
crumpled hills rising from desert wastes which project into the 
blue sea tentacles of rock and sand. 

From the cockpit the pilot sent back to us a note scribbled on 
the reverse side of a weather report. And I noticed that, like the 
Panama newspaper, the weather reports had gone half Spanish, 
for the slip passed back to where we sat in seats numbers One and 
Two, read: 

"Boletin de Ticmpo 

Weather Report 


Hora. . . . 1630 Metric 

Estado General del Tiempo. . . 

General Weather Conditions 

Visibilidad Horizontal. . . .\ TT . . . 

Horizontal Visibility. . . . / Unlimited 

And so forth. And so forth." 

On the back of this "W. E. A.," the pilot had scrawled: 

"We will cross over Salinas Point You will note the holes 
dug in the ground where oil is found within 10 ft. of the sur- 
face Many old dinosaurs (fossils) of the years gone by may 
be found here Many old treasure hunting parties even of 
England and Spain still contemplate looking for the wrecks 
of Pirate gold ships on the south shore of this point No fool- 
ing I know a lot more about this place too." 

Pirates and gold. ... Of course I didn't question them. For 
this was Peru. 

I had been flying over a familiar region. And now here was 
Peru, never before seen. 

From the air it appears as a country which, instead of lying 
prone upon the surface of the globe, has raised itself until it seems 
almost vertical, with its long coast line resting upon the ocean. 



From the narrow strip of coast, ranges of mountains rise, each 
higher than the other, until they mount to the grand Cordillera 
of the eastern Andes far away in the interior. 

There is Peru, unrolled before you: with a cold mountain 
wall, far and dim on the east, which draws every last drop of 
moisture from the saturated southeast trade-winds of the Atlantic 
blowing across the forests of Brazil. From the air it is easy to 
realize that by the time the winds reach the coast they have had 
all the rain squeezed out of them. As your eyes travel from the 
Andean ranges to the desert plains and promontories of the coast, 
and to the Pacific washing blue about the fluted barren line of 
the shore, Peru seems to you, physically, one of the most extraor- 
dinary countries in the world. 

None of the soft adjectives apply to it. To Peru there belong 
such words as stupendous, powerful, sublime, august, majestic, 
stern; beautiful with a glory and a solemnity. 

Peru exacts something of the beholder and is therefore the 
more loved. 

Its deserts, like its mountains, present a beauty that is never 

From an airplane (and you have not seen the desert coast of 
Peru unless you have beheld it from the air) you see the streams 
which at far intervals come down from the Andes to create in 
the coastal desert greenly fertile fields, and you understand that 
a valley perennially green implies a river whose source is in the 
eternal snows, for at certain seasons rivers born lower down run 
dry and their valleys become parched. 

And when you would further understand Peru's coastal desert 
you look out to sea and remember the icy Humboldt Current that 
comes up from the Antarctic Ocean, flowing close to the shore 
until, as it approaches Ecuador, it swings westward and passes 
on the far side of the Galapagos Islands. It is this current which 
cheats the coast out of rain from the west, as the Andes deprive it 
of rain from the east: for the cold current so chills the air above 
it that rain seldom falls upon the land, and the best it can do in 
the way of moisture is during Peru's winter months when the 



temperature of the earth drops just enough to extract from the 
winds fog and drizzle. 

From the plane all this which has been but didactic statement 
becomes vivid reality. 

Later I was to know Peru with all the senses; to touch and 
taste and smell it, to see it in intimate detail, to know it with the 
heart, which is, after all, the most important of the senses; and 
thus to become myself part of it for a time; and always to under- 
stand it better because of this flight from its northern boundary 
down into its southern region. 

And since my flight was made during the coastal dry season 
there was on the desert neither fog nor mist to obscure dear vision 
over an immense territory. 

Our first landing in Peru was at Talara. Breakfast in Guayaquil 
had been a hasty roll and coffee at dawn, but it was still early 
morning when the plane sat down at the Talara airport where 
there were waiting sandwiches and a thermos of coffee. 

As for the airport, it is an oasis of blossoms magically appearing 
in a shimmering desert. There is only the airport . . . nothing 
else. If we hadn't seen the busy, ugly oil development of Talara 
from the sky, we could not have believed in its existence, for at 
the airport great dunes shut it from sight, and it is so far off that 
no sound of its machinery and no scent of its oil reaches the oasis 
airport, where hollyhocks, petunias and marigolds, pink roses 
and fragrant deep red jacqueminots crowd close about a small 
white building; with on all sides, as far as you can see, quantities 
and quantities of pale yellow sand, over which blows a sweet, soft, 
dry wind. 

Just twenty minutes of this, before the plane tipped up its tail 
and ran, faster and faster down the field on its two wheels, when 
it turned into the wind and, with a quick little spring, was up. . . . 

Twenty minutes so full of loveliness that, for all their brevity, 
they are to be forever remembered; together with the aroma of 
coffee, the flavor of ham sandwiches nicely mustarded, and the 
merry talk of passengers and pilots sharing a journey. 



And then again we were soaring above clouds white and frothy 
as meringue. 

My new friend, the woman pilot passenger, had told me that 
when you are on high, alone in your plane, you feel like God. 

But, not wanting to miss any of Peru, I was glad to drop from 
cloud heavens, where there was no vestige of a created world 
(lovely though those heavens were) down to an altitude where 
tie coast lay brilliantly clear beneath us. 

I saw a waste of drifting yellow sand, a little verdant valley 
bordering a river which had come a long way to bless the arid 
land. And along the beach there were small houses, arranged 
in squares, and jutting out into the bay there was a pier where 
boats were moored. 

When these passed out of vision there lay for a long way ahead 
a stretch of desolate desert; the mountain ranges had withdrawn 
in mist and there was only the desert, with great crescents of sand 
marching all in one direction, impelled by the force of winds 
from the south; crescents of sand like the footprints of mythical 
horses of gigantic stature; such horses as the Inca's people might 
have seen in terrified dreams as the army of the conquering 
Pizarro drew nearer and nearer, advancing mounted upon their 
strange, famed beasts. 

Traveling by sea, or by land, I could have seen only a fraction 
of all this, seen it only in isolated bits, while from the air I was 
able to realize the magnificent scale upon which Peru is sculp- 
tured; its precipitous cliffs rising from the sea, flattening out into 
sandy plateaus, where at intervals wrinkled hills lift heads grey 
with drifting sand, its deserts sometimes extending unbroken by 
irrigated valleys for as much as seventy miles. Over all this color 
plays; so translucent that it appeared from the plane not to be 
inherent in hills or sand, but like colored light cast upon the scene 
from some invisible source, hues of blue and mauve, rose and 
green, yellow and orange, trembling on the dunes, quivering over 
the level wastes, deep and still in the ravines of the hills. While 
beneath us always flew that dark bird which was our shadow. 

Frequently, as we approached human habitations there were 



big salt pans, tinted in the shades of varied degrees of evaporation, 
green and blue when they had been newly filled with sea-water, 
red and pink as they evaporated, and finally the sparkling white 
of salt crystals in the sun. 

The presence of these salt pans announced that in just a moment 
we would be soaring above a fishing village, or a river valley, 
whose irrigated fertility produces green fields of cotton or sugar 
cane, or rice or alfalfa; each with its own characteristic green. In 
these valleys, too, there would be sprawling algarroba trees, or 
mesquite, to cast leafy shadow. If the valley is large, or if behind 
the hills there are other fertile valleys, there is built out into the 
sea a long pier, that ships may serve the population* Sometimes, 
also, there are mines back in the mountains which send their ore 
down to the ports. 

After a brief landing at Chiclayo, I had time to notice that the 
Andes had come closer to the shore line; and then we were flying 
above cloud like a sea of milk, and nowhere any sign of Peru. 

When we emerged we were losing altitude for the landing at 
Trujillo. Below us were the ruins of the city of Chan-Chan, once 
the capital of the kingdom of the great Chimo; eleven square 
miles of ruins towering massive adobe walls; outer walls and 
inner walls, streets, courtyards and buildings; disintegrating, and 
partly submerged under sand; dry protecting sand, preserving 
through the centuries the vivid color and design of die buried 
textiles and pottery of a people long vanished from the earth, with 
near to the dead city the white domes and spires of the living 
Trujillo rising above many-hued houses in a valley green with 
vast sugar plantations. And the breeze, when we had swooped 
down to the airport, the breeze was dry and in its texture singularly 
light; while on the mountains beyond, the mist had thickened. 

For the sake of dear old Miss Annie Peck, the mountain climber 
of a dead generation, I looked eagerly for Mt. Huascaran: "My 
mountain," as she used to call it. 'The highest point," she would 
say triumphantly, "ever attained on the American Continent 
by man or woman!" 

Watching, hoping to see at least one of its two peaks show' 



through the mist, I remembered how it was not until Miss Peck 
was eighty years old that she had admitted the fact that when, 
on her fifth attempt, she had at last conquered the mountain, 
she had been in sight of her sixtieth birthday. 

"It always seemed best not to tell my age," she confided to me, 
"but now that I am eighty my friends say that it can't do any 
harm to tell." 

When she sat in my living room explaining that she had de- 
cided to admit her age, she had just returned from a flight of 
twenty thousand miles over all the commercial air routes of South 

In memory of this amazing old lady I wanted very much to see 
her mountain. I'd not met her until she was nearly seventy-eight, 
but during the six years of life that remained to her I had come 
to know her well and with great affection: incidents out of those 
years came back as I sat gazing eastward through the window of 
the plane, across the desert and the lesser ranges to the point 
where Huascaran ought to be. And this scene where she had lived 
so intensely in her determination to reach the summit of the 
mountain resurrected the Miss Peck I had known: 

Miss Peck telling how her Swiss guide, Rudolph, had lost one 
of her mittens, and his own, on the glassy, frozen slopes of 
Huascaran. Miss Peck photographed in the outfit she had worn 
at the summit of Huascaran; protecting her face from the cold 
of that great altitude by a carnival mask, with what she called "a 
rather superfluous mustache painted on it." But never mind, it 
had been the only one she could procure. 

And then suddenly. Huascaran came out of the clouds for me, 
both its peaks incredibly white and high. The sight of them 
brought back to me Miss Peck's terror and suffering on that 
mountain. Four times failing to reach the summit and approach- 
ing sixty when she finally succeeded! 

As I looked upon the cold snows of Huascaran, I recalled her 
description of the terrors of the descent, when it had seemed so 
dreadful a thing if life should then be lost, before she had savored 
to the last drop the sweets of her painful victory, 



"My recollection of that descent," she said, "is as a horrible 
nightmare, though such I never experienced. The little moon 
seemed always at my back, casting a shadow over the place where 
I must step. The poncho would sway in the wind, and with my 
motion as I was in the act of stepping, would sometimes conceal 
the spot where my foot should be placed. . . . Again and again 
I slipped. . . . Several times declared that we should never get 
down alive. . . ." 

I was so familiar with the story that I could recreate it on those 
desolate icy steeps showing suddenly through grey mist; Miss 
Peck toiling perilously, full of fear, with all the time the black 
flourish of a mustache painted ironically on the mask she wore. 

And then I see her, her white hair finger-waved for her birth- 
day, and she is cutting a cake on which blaze eighty-four candles: 
and her cheeks are flushed, for the reporters are there photograph- 
ing her for the Press. 

And they must be sure to write, she says, that it was "the great- 
est altitude ever attained on this Continent by man or woman. . . ." 

I have other memories, too, of her last days: she is telling me 
how once, ever so long before she had determined that she must 
climb Huascaran, she had decided that she must have a college 
degree. At the time she'd been sitting on the floor putting on 
her shoes. "But," she said to herself, "but I'll be twenty-seven 
when I graduate!" 

Then she'd put on the other shoe, "Well," she'd reminded herself, 
"you'll be twenty-seven anyway!" 

And so she'd risen from the floor and gone out to achieve 
a college education. 

When it had come to establishing record ascents she had prob- 
ably reasoned similarly, "Well, I'll be sixty anyway!" 

And because of what she had suffered, and because of her in- 
vincible will to conquer, she seemed to me to live on among the 
peaks of the high Andes; as Pizarro lives still on the islands of 
Gorgona and Gallo, and in the Sierra about Cajamarca: Pizarro 
setting forth at the age of sixty to conquer the vast Empire of 
the Incas! 



Things, I reflected, are important in proportion to what they 
mean in individual lives. 

Miss Peck's empire had been her mountain. 

Yet, at the end, lying bloodless and frail against the pillows, she 
had not talked of her mountain. She'd talked of how good a 
dancer she'd been so long ago. . . . "The lancers, you know . . ." 

When these memories had followed Huascaran into the mists 
of death, my eyes turned from the Andes to rove the coast line 
and the sea: 

A world of coves and headlands. Desert hills powdered with 
sand. Tiny cattle in a green field. Ruins of the fortress which had 
defended the kingdom of the Great Chimo on the south. Strange 
dark cliffs bordering the sea, A wild expanse of enormous 
sand dunes, big pale dunes, color playing over the sands, and color 
in the salt pans. Long rollers of blue ocean coming in to break 
in white surf. And beyond, the Pacific . . . blue . , . blue. Little 
white guano islands dotting the blue. Masses of dark on the 
white . . those were sea birds. 

I recollected that the Humboldt Current supplies fresh cool 
water where fish thrive, and that in turn attracts huge numbers 
of seafowl which deposit guano. And because the Humboldt 
Current prevents rainfall on the coast, the guano is not washed 
away. And thus fish and birds and cold current combined are 
responsible for bringing millions of dollars to Peru. 

All precisely as the books had described it, 

A stir in the plane broke into the thoughts which followed down 
the coast. We were approaching Lima. Below was the Bay of 
Ancon, set among barren, sand-covered hills; its houses dazzling 
white, its trees dusty. Beyond Ancon the lower Andes had advanced 
farther toward the sea; and bare black foothills, mottled with 
pale sand, bordered the valley of the Rimac, with, back of them, 
the Andes, blue and high. 

And then there was Lima ... its plazas ... its bull ring . . , 
its churches ... its boulevards. 


A portrait vase 

(Fraro the Larco Herrera collection at ChicKn) 


Four days and a half from New York by air, and I was looking 
down upon Lima! 

We banked quickly to sit down at an airport where people may 
breakfast and lunch and dine under a gay awning; where other 
planes were coming and going, and there were many waiting auto- 

At Lima the Douglas flew away to Arequipa and left me. 

Then, as the Company bus rattled me into the city, I remem- 
bered that in my pocket was a letter of introduction stating in 
Latin that Blair Niles was visiting Lima. 

And I remembered that I was making a journey in time. 




THE first impression of Lima is brightly modern. The 
Panagra bus that whirled me from a just completed airport con- 
ducted me along a broad boulevard with trees in rows of lavender 
flower, past villas dripping with bloom, like the houses of southern 
California. Their air of twentieth-century suburban affluence 
made my Latin letter of introduction seem pretty absurd. 

Then, suddenly the avenue had led us into narrow streets of 
two-story houses, with latticed Moorish balconies on their upper 
floors. Often these lattices were beautifully and intricately carved, 
and sometimes a shutter stood open, and through the aperture a 
dark head regarded the world. 

But the head did not wear the high comb and the mantilla 
implied in the Spanish-Colonial balcony; for the head was bobbed 
in the manner of the moment. And the narrow streets were 
crowded, not with painted coaches and horsemen, but with auto- 
mobiles; and there were great lurid posters of plays showing at 
cinema houses, the posters decorated with pictures of Hollywood 

It seemed as though New York had moved into Lima. 

But that impression was quickly gone, for the tension in New 
York faces is not seen in Lima not yet anyway. 

And in spite of the sleek motor cars of familiar makes, and 
that modernity of heads to which properly belonged the grace 
of mantillas, there still survives in Lima the heritage of Moorish 
balconies and grilled windows and great doors of Viceregal 
palaces. This gave me confidence to believe that I would be able 
to find my way through the centuries back to a time when a letter 
of introduction in Latin would not have appeared ludicrous ped- 



But I knew that the way back would have to be sought, for 
Lima is a cosmopolitan up-to-date city passionately concerned 
with today. Its head is full of pressing and immediate problems. 
It does not put on for the visitor a spectacle of its romantic and 
historic past. If that is the sort of thing you want you must look 
for it; diligently, for in Lima it is not easy to overtake the 
centuries as they hurry away into the shadows of the forgotten* 
Thus, even before the Panagra bus had delivered me at the door 
of the hotel, I realized that without Room 300 of the New York 
Library, Lima would have been to me only a delightful modern 
city where there lurked an elusive something that I tried in vain 
to capture. For only the dead can open the door that leads back- 
ward, and in Room 300 I had known the dead. . . , 

The open door of the Grand Hotel Maury reveals a vast white 
marble staircase which rises almost from the sidewalk. 

Mounting this grandiose staircase I crossed that threshold be- 
yond which I was so eager to pass, for the very register of the 
Maury has recorded the names of visitors to Lima for a hundred 
years: if you might know all that has happened in the Maury 
you would have a picture of Lima for the past century. 

The hotel bedrooms are on its two upper floors, the ground 
floor being given over to dining rooms and a bar; and as the 
building dates back before the plumbing era, its bathroom equip- 
ment has been added as an afterthought. With the exception 
of a few single rooms on the third floor, the Maury's accommoda- 
tions for guests are in the form of suites, of which the most com- 
fortable are the apartamcntos dc matrimonio interior rooms, 
lighted and ventilated by overhead skylights, like dormer windows 
built into the high ceilings, and manipulated by long cords hang- 
ing down into the room. 

On my first stay in Lima I sacrificed the quiet of one of these 
interior apartments and took a suite over the street, that I might 
observe the wagging of the world. I had a very tiny salon separated 
from the bedroom by starched white Nottingham lace curtain* 
Beyond the bedroom there was an enclosed balcony with glass 



windows instead of carved lattices, and a third room housed 
the plumbing, with so mammoth a tub that I was in daily danger 
of drowning. Everywhere there were large mirrors and a pro- 
vision for clothing which made my air-passenger quota seem 
pathetically scanty. Even the little reception room had a dresser 
with a long mirror and drawers; the bedroom had a rack which 
might have served to hold the wraps for a life-sized party, and 
there was in addition a large wardrobe and a bureau with drawers, 
while the very balcony was supplied with a commodious ward- 
robe and a dressing table. 

Back in New York I had been proud of having kept within 
the fifty-five pounds of luggage allowed to each passenger by air. 
After subtracting the combined weight of the old week-end bag and 
the hat-box which made up my luggage there had remained to me 
a possible thirty-seven pounds of equipment. And I'd put my best 
mind on the selection of what that equipment must include. 

In every spare moment I had scribbled lists on scraps of paper 
and the backs of envelopes, as well as in the notebook where they 
properly belonged. Preparation must be made for hot-weather 
stops en route, for the moderate climate of Lima and for the 
penetrating cold of the Andean Sierra. There must be riding 
things, evening dress, traveling outfit, stout shoes for much walk- 
ing, toilet articles, a sewing kit for repairs, a few medicines, and 
the tools of my trade pencils and paper. 

The last days before departure had been spent in repeated 
weighings, additions and subtractions; and you might expect 
almost anywhere in the house to stumble over the bathroom scales. 

In the final decisions such vexing questions had arisen as 
whether, since only one dressing robe could be included, it would 
be preferable to be too warm in the lowlands or too cold in the 
Andes. Memories of wretched shivers in Quito and in Bogato, 
however, had answered that question. 

After the essential outfit had been pared down to the minimum, 
I had considered such luxuries as an alarm clock, field glasses 
and an umbrella, balancing the usefulness of one against another: 

As I would be arriving on the coast in November at the begin- 



ning of its dry time the umbrella seemed of remote value. In 
the Andes, however, downpours were to be expected from Novem- 
ber to March, and there's nothing half-hearted about Andean 
rains. When I did need an umbrella, therefore, I should want 
it very much indeed and an alarm clock in a deluge wouldn't be 
any particular blessing. 

While on the trip down the clock would avoid anxiety lest 
hotel boys forget to call me in time to make early planes. And, 
after all, the outfit already decided upon included rubber overshoes 
and a rubber poncho. I'd buy an umbrella in whatever Andean 
town was able to supply it and then abandon it before resuming 
air travel. 

The question had then become alarm clock versus field glasses. 
There are certain things which you go through life wanting very 
much, not particularly costly things, but, somehow, you never 
acquire them. A pair of nice, small, light field glasses with a 
wide area of vision had always been for me among the unattained. 
Those which I did possess weighed a pound and a half and were 
very limited in field of vision. It would really be absurd to take 
them. I didn't even argue the point, yet I never understood how 
they managed it those clumsy glasses went with me. After the 
dock was safely packed, from somewhere the suggestion presented 
itself that, without their leather case the glasses wouldn't be so 
very heavy, but even after their case was discarded, they weighed 
one whole valuable pound. I then went through everything: 
there were some notes I could do without, I had them in my head 
anyway. And there was a pair of white gloves and a clothes 
brush, superfluous in comparison with field glasses. When I asked 
myself why I felt the glasses so important I explained that I must 
have them for the birds on Lake Titicaca, and to observe vicunas 
high on mountainsides. 

And so the glasses had come along, in spite of the fact of 
weighing one thirty-seventh of the entire outfit, and being as 
glasses, almost a total loss, for by the time I got them focused the 
object I wanted to see had usually vanished. 

Now, at the Maury, in the presence of extensive preparations 



for possessions my thirty-seven pounds of luggage were almost 
ashamed to be unpacked. But I made a showing by spreading 
them out, storing a few articles in each of the many drawers and 

And when I had done I felt very small myself and extraor- 
dinarily lonely. 

I was alone . , . alone with the great opportunity which I had 
so desired. 

My novel of sixteenth-century Peru had demanded that I visit 
the place of the story. I had to see where it all happened. I 
must know for myself the roads trod by the feet of my characters. 
My eyes must look upon the scenes fixed upon their minds by 
the drama of their hearts. 

But such opportunity is not easy to achieve. 

I often find to my amazement that the picture I present to the 
world is that of a care-free woman, eternally wandering wherever 
fancy leads. 

"When are you of? again?" is the question which regularly 
greets me on a brief cocktail-party-emergence from work. 

Yet when I went to Guatemala for the background material 
of Maria Pdluna, I had been four years continuously at work in 
New York, except for a few weeks in Hollywood at the time that 
my story of Devil's Island was in process of preparation for the 
screen. The Guatemala experience had been followed by four 
more years of work in New York. These are long periods for 
one with a bird's instinct for migration; especially as my particular 
migrations are essential to the work which absorbs my life. 

Then, still draped in that myth of "I-suppose-you're-soon-off- 
again," I had struggled to achieve Peru. 

And now that the unattainable had been accomplished my 
mind went back to the time when it had seemed impossible. 

I have always felt that if you want a thing enough unless it 
be fantastically outside reason, such as possessing blue eyes in- 
stead of brown it may be yours. The catch, of course, lies in 
that little word enough. For enough is often appallingly much; 
enough usually involves sacrifice, toil, tenacity of purpose, faith. 



And with this thought recurs again and again a certain old 
Spanish proverb: "And God said, Take what you want and pay 
for it.'" 

Often in the months of uncertainty when Peru seemed unat- 
tainable, I would wake in the night, sleepless and anxious. 

I would rise then, and prowl noiselessly from room to room. 
There would be a hard bright light streaming down from a 
tiny window in the very top of one of the lodging houses which 
backed upon our apartment; an unshaded light shining through 
a naked window, streaming down, bright and hard, upon the 
floor while I paced from room to room, the embodiment of an 
overwhelming desire. 

Thus, wandering about, I would sometimes hear, through the 
wall which separates us from a Dominican Convent, the daily 
matins of the nuns: those prayers which have been repeated 
through the centuries in every country of the world. But I 
could get only the familiar intonation of supplication. I could 
not make out the words. 

Perhaps, I thought, they are repeating the Kyrie; the passionate 
cry of fallen humanity: 

"Lord have mercy on us. 
Lord have mercy on us. 
Christ have mercy on us. 
Lord have mercy on us. 
Lord have mercy on us." 

In the presence of their patient reiteration I knew that, though 
persistence is practiced as part of my creed of wanting a thing 
enough, patience is not. 

A priest once said to me, "Time is on the side of the Church." 

Yes, but time is the implacable foe of the individual, and my 
desire must be accomplished here and now; not in another world. 

In these hours of flagging faith my mind would turn for en- 
couragement to the occasions and they were surprisingly many 
when combined effort and fate had realized the seemingly im- 



possible. There was, for instance, our visit to Devil's Island: 
that had come about after months of similar planning, similar 
visualization of desire. I had wanted to study crime and punish- 
ment as it is isolated in that Penal Colony, bounded on three 
sides by trackless jungle, and on the fourth by great ocean rollers; 
that colony where, behind the bars of their cells men may hear 
the wild free chorus of the howling monkeys of the forest 
treetops, or listen to the monotonous pounding of the sea break- 
ing upon lonely beaches. 

That I might accomplish that experience of the Penal Colony 
it had been necessary to overcome all the obstacles which now 
stood in the path; with the added difficulty that, since France 
banishes to Devil's Island men convicted of high treason, it is 
forbidden territory to the outside world. Even ships, flying 
other than the French flag, may not pass within a mile and a 
half of the Island, and it is not permitted that the families of 
the keepers may so much as set foot upon it. 

Remembering that somehow I don't myself quite know how 
Roberto and I had not only lived in the Penal Colony, but that 
we had been able to talk to dozens of the prisoners, to secure a 
wealth of first-hand material upon which I had based two books, 
that in addition we had actually twice visited the forbidden Island 
itself, remembering this, would convince me that miracles did 
sometimes happen, 

I would then take heart, and go back to bed and to sleep. 

And then at last one of the most formidable of the obstacles 
in the way to Peru had been surmounted. For wings had been 
made possible to us, just as four years before, when I had need 
to go to Guatemala, a ship had similarly been provided. Yes, 
now and then a miracle does happen, coming to pass after you've 
tried in vain everything you know. 

We found our wings on a hot June day. Lexington Avenue 
was scorching in the sun, the pavements burning through the 
soles of shoes, the spaces between shop-awnings blinding. Above, 
a plane soared so high in the blue that the hum of its motors came 



but f aintly down to the torrid street where wings seemed remote 
and unattainable. 

Once more, myself said to myself, "You are attempting the im- 
possible." Whereat myself replied, "After all ..." (quoting ex- 
amples to prove that attempting the impossible was once in a 
way a profitable pursuit) "and . . . Q. E. D. . . . why not 
expect to find wings when you need them?" 

// you desire a thing enough . . . 

The phrase had hung itself up in my mind like the signs over 
the shops, as I walked in the hot afternoon down the shady side of 
Lexington Avenue. 

Why, of course we would go to Peru! And we would fly! 

Life, I had reflected, is like the child's game in which you 
spin a pointer and obey the instructions given where the pointer 

Move forward three. Go back five. Stay where you are. Back 
to the beginning. Move forward fifteen. . . . 

The thing was never to despair, always to be ready to spin and 
spin again. 

Now in the Hotel Maury recalling that walk, I seemed one 
moment to have been treading blistering pavements, and the 
next to have been assured of wings. For the thing had happened; 
we were to go at any time we wished; and I could not wait 
to get home to tell Roberto. I shut myself in the nearest telephone 

Plaza 3-6515. 

Is this Plaza 3-65 

Wrong number. 

(Fingers too excited. Dial again.) 

Plaza 3-6515. 

Hello! . . . Well, we're going! 


To Peru, of course! On wings. . . 

The thought that I was actually at last arrived in Lima drove 
me immediately out into the city. 



I engaged a car at the door and let the chauffeur drive me where 
he would. 

He showed me the handsome plaza over which the statue of 
San Martin presides, high on a bronze horse, above grassy 
green plots and crepe myrtle grown to the proportion of trees, 
with fountains falling in cascades over flights of white steps, and 
automobiles passing shining in the sun, or parked waiting to 
serve the buildings which surround die plaza, buildings of the 
new Lima shops and arcades, moving-picture houses, offices tall 
enough to have elevators and to put on the airs of skyscrapers, 
the Club Nacional, and, facing San Martin, the modern, well- 
appointed Hotel Bolivar; the Plaza thus doing honor to Bolivar, 
the Liberator of South America, and to San Martin, second only 
in glory to Bolivar. 

The chauffeur drove me about the square, and along spacious 
boulevards, pointing out public buildings, other squares and 
other statues, churches and convents. We turned unexpectedly 
into narrow congested streets where, for all the glitter and move- 
ment of the present, there persists that evanescent breath of what 
has gone before, tantalizingly hovering on the fringe of recollection, 
teasingly elusive, but in just a moment surely to come alive. . , . 

And then I left the past to materialize when it would, while 
the living, visible Lima absorbed me. Senor Salocchi sent his 
car to drive me about, through the city and out to blossoming 
suburbs, to Miraflores, Chorillos, San Isidro, Barranca, to the port 
of Callao, and along the shore of the bluest sea in the world. 
Through other acquaintances, I met the intelligentsia, the diplo- 
matic circle, the old aristocracy, University students, newspaper 
men, mining men, and the sort of Society that everywhere gets it- 
self spelled with a capital S. My Spanish, which since Guatemala 
had been used chiefly for research, now warmed up and got under 
way, and I talked to them all, adding shop-girls, the staff of a 
nearby beauty parlor, the hotel boys, the chambermaids and an oc- 
casional chauffeur. I talked to youth with a dream in its eyes, so 
certain that Utopia is a matter simple of accomplishment; and to 



maturity, not always cocksure, often humble, seeking a way out for 
civilization. I heard guarded talk of the Apristas, and all over 
Peru I was later to see the letters APRA chalked here and there on 
walls, and stones; Apra, the symbol of the Alianza Popular Revo- 
lucionaria Americana, whose founder and leader, Haya de la 
Torre, was somewhere in hiding; whether in exile or in Peru 
was debatable. 

And much of the talk I heard touched problems which each 
faction would solve in its own way; the universal problems of 
labor and capital, wages and working hours, the land, the local 
problem of the Indian, and what should be the national policy. 

"What do you make of all this?" I asked a chauffeur who 
occasionally drove me to keep some engagement which demanded 
arriving in style. 

"I am a working man," he replied prudently, "and do not 
concern myself with politics." He had just bought a new car 
and was paying for it on the installment plan. Let others concern 
themselves with political affairs. 

Occasionally, I would remain quietly in the hotel, letting my- 
self float on the current of life as it flowed under my balcony: 
sitting there for hours, with my chin on my crossed arms, watch- 

Over the way balconies similar to mine look down upon the 
high shops. Buses pass, all going in the same direction, the street 
being so narrow that they must return by another way. And 
there is always great congestion of automobiles. A push-cart 
selling alligator pears works its way among them, and another, 
this time painted scarlet and labeled "hclados" advertises itself 
by the tooting of a horn. Lima loves ices and the halting of the 
hclados cart holds up traffic. Then a woman with a cerise manta 
closely wrapped about her head draws my eyes to the sidewalk, 
to marvel at her great shawl of royal blue and the immensely full 
bottle-green skirt which reaches her ankles. She is followed 
by women trimly got up in grey suits with grey hats, or black 
hats with black suits, and all mounted upon high-heeled pumps. 
There are prayerful women, too, with black lace veils instead 



of hats, rosaries in their hands, and the thought of Mass in their 
eyes. Dignified gentlemen stop short to embrace and pat each 
other on the back, or there is a sedate nun, all in black with a 
stiff white bib. Again a bevy of nattily turned out women in 
tailored suits, a girl in a bright pink dress, a man loaded with 
brooms and feather dusters, a young dandy in double-breasted 
grey suit and a blue felt hat, a cart heaped with oranges and 
mangoes under a white awning. And there are always mes- 
sengers passing with flowers, baskets of flowers and set-pieces; 
lilies and roses, sweet peas, heliotrope, jasmine, carnations, violets; 
for Lima adores flowers. 

And as I watch this flow of life certain phrases out of the talk I 
have heard return to me: 

"// you could see the Indian! . . . If you could %now how he 
worths. In the Sierra and on the coast. How he wor\s and for so 
little! If you could see!" 

"Peru is on the threshold of a great prosperity. . . . If it can 
avoid revolution." 

When it is noon all the shops roll down the shutters which 
close their wide entrances; and they will not reopen until two 
o'clock. And at that hour Lima breakfasts. The early morning 
meal of Spanish-America is a stingy matter of rolls and coffee, 
the noon breakfast a substantial affair, an elaborate luncheon rather 
than a breakfast. 

As for the cookery of the Maury, it has been famous for gen- 
erations, and in its great, airy, lofty, white dining room, sooner 
or later you will see all Lima, drinking the celebrated Pisco-sours, 
eating such distinctive dishes as broth into which an egg has 
been dropped, there to semi-poach itself in the savory liquid, or 
you may select a shrimp soup, or eggs Huancayna prepared with 
an indescribable sauce, or tiny fried fish called pejerreyes, beside 
which all other fish are coarse; but whatever you may choose it 
pxust include alligator pears stuffed with mayonnaise, and the 
most amazing shrimps, like no other sea food in the waters of 



the earth. And you may finish of? with luscious ripe figs if they 
happen to be in season, or with chirimoyas or grenadillas. 

I had early felt myself a part of Lima, added to that company 
which through the generations have loved the Maury, and com- 
plained of the Maury, and told jokes at the expense of the Maury, 
and at last come to speak of it as the "old Maury," or the "dear 
old Maury." "The Maury," I heard a man say affectionately, "the 
Maury is Pre-Inca!" 

But, unbelievably lacking as I am in a sense of locality, for all 
my love of Lima I never learned to find my way about the city. 
I was fond of going about on foot. I think you never touch a 
city intimately in any other way, and from their sidewalks all 
Spanish-American towns permit you to look into their privacy. 
Shops and hotels are frankly open, and through grilled door- 
ways you may gaze upon patios where fountains play and flowers 
bloom beneath the fanning fronds of palms. Such houses are 
at the same time open and reserved, like half confidences which 
give and simultaneously withhold. In Lima the numbers of the 
great houses of Spanish-Colonial type, obviously abandoned by the 
prosperous, show the tendency of the wealthy to forsake the things 
of the past. The neglected patios are mutely pathetic. Some 
day I think these houses will be again valued, restored and re- 
habilitated, appreciated perhaps by a new wealth that will make 
them fashionable. What has had true beauty endures beyond 
fashion and eventually lives again; and a Lima of gracious and 
lovely distinction awaits this resurrection which, while it adds 
the comforts of progress, will preserve that beautiful thing which 
was born of the Moor and the Spaniard, and transplanted across 
the seas to the New World where it flourished as though it had 
never been uprooted. 

I found an endless pleasure in walking about lima. Then, 
wearied and hungry, I would decide that it was time to return 
to the hotel. 

But where was the hotel? I would begin to inquire. 

So many blocks to the right, so many straight ahead, so many 



on the left, then straight ahead again, and to the right. . , . So 
many . . . And there you are. 

It would all be quite clear. The directions had been explicit. 

Yet, invariably, my roving mind betrayed me. I was to proceed, 
let us say, half a dozen blocks to the right . . . but, suddenly I 
realized that I hadn't the very smallest notion of how many blocks 
I had proceeded ! There had been perhaps a courtyard surrounded 
by an arcade under horseshoe arches, an imposing stairway to 
another arcade and more arches* You enter the courtyard by a 
zaguan with hooks in the wall to which gentlemen once tied 
their horses' bridles, and a stone seat where grooms and coachmen 
once sat to gossip about the foibles of their masters. A zaguan 
the Moorish name delighted me. . . . But how many blocks was 
it that I was to proceed? I could remember my instructions; the 
difficulty was that I could never keep track of how far I had walked 
in any given directions, so that the instructions became, of course, 
quite valueless. And I would have to make fresh inquiries, 
starting blithely off again, and again the mind betraying me, 
dancing off on its own pursuits. For example: Would Roberto 
really be able to come down and join me as we had planned? 
If it happened to be a Monday or a Friday there might be a 
letter from him on the south-bound plane. . . . 

And now, how many blocks had I come? 

Would you have the fyndness to tell me where I may find the 
Hotel Maury? 

Again instructions. Really I was tired and very hungry. It had 
been long since that mere coffee and rolls. 

(Roberto has so phenomenal a sense of direction that I've never 
had to develop one.) 

The Maury, Senorita? Como no? Four to the right and you 
come to the Plaza de Armas. And then 

Yes, it was very simple. At the Plaza de Armas I would be 
within two minutes of the hotel. 

And for sheer shame I couldn't confess that I was never more 
lost than at that same Plaza de Armas. Therefore I would wait 
and, with mortification, inquire further at the Plaza itself. 



And off would go the mind; endlessly it would occupy itself 
with that novel of sixteenth-century Peru which had brought me 
on this journey. The characters had a trick of carrying on con- 
versations in my head. Tito, the hero, would have Salla, the 
heroine, know ... Or Tito was listening to the Spanish soldiers 
discussing their commander, Francisco Pizarro, whose statue pre- 
sides triumphant over the Plaza de Armas in Lima. 

But how many blocks was it to the Plaza? 

The streets of Lima have a hateful trick of changing their 
names every little while, sometimes every block, so often that 
the names were useless to me. 

Then arrived by chance at the Plaza, I would make my inquiries. 

Would you have the kindness . . 

The Maury, but the Maury is not more than a minute, Senorita! 

And once, questioning at a newspaper stand on the Plaza, I 
was told smilingly, "The Maury? Why, it's just where it was 
when you asked me yesterday!" 

And that, of course, made it impossible for me ever again to 
put the query to that particular news vender 1 Though the need, 
I confess, often arose. 

At other times, the Maury had a trick of appearing as if by 
wizardry: when I least suspected how near it was, suddenly I 
would see it looking at me from across the street, and with an 
immense joy I would go in to breakfast. 

When I had happened to be returning by bus, or street-car, the 
same thing would occur. When paying my fare I would always 
ask whether the conductor would be good enough to tell me 
where to get off, at the corner nearest the Maury. And with the 
kindness of Peru my fellow passengers would take an interest, 
discussing among themselves just what was the best corner. Then 
when I had been deposited on the sidewalk I would wait for 
bus or car to disappear, that my bus-friends might not see that 
even on the "nearest corner" I must still make inquiries. 

And then something happened which took me back ever so 
much further than that sixteenth century in search of which I 
had come to Peru. 



EVER since the Spanish Conquest Peru has been as generous in 
opportunity to the alien as has the United States. Toward the 
end of the eighteenth century the exalted position of Viceroy of 
Peru was held by an Irishman Ambrose O'Higgins who rose 
to that dizzy height of power and honor from the obscure posi- 
tion of an unsuccessful peddler, with a single mule to carry his 
goods about the country. It was Henry Meiggs, of the United 
States, who built the spectacular Oroya Railroad which is rated 
a miracle of engineering. And in more modern times Peru has 
welcomed the miner, the shipping man and the aviator from 
foreign lands. 

So that I should not have been astonished to find that a Phila- 
delphian had been Rector of the ancient University of venerable 
Cuzco, or that when I met him his first question was: "What can 
I do for you?" 

For this was in the Peruvian tradition. 

And with his intimate knowledge of the country there is much 
that Dr. Albert Giesecke can do to direct the traveler who would 
know Peru, since for the last twenty years he has lived either in 
Cuzco or Lima, and he is married to a Cuzquena. 

The first of Doctor Giesecke's many kindnesses was to take me 
to visit Cajamarquilla. 

We drove out of Lima along a dusty road to the ruins of a 
city of such antiquity that history records nothing of its life. 

The city stands on a plain set about with barren hills, as lifeless 
as the long-abandoned ruins themselves. A thin stream flows 
through the plain, with overhanging willows whose branches 
are full of little singing, rose-breasted birds. Vultures soar high 



in the blue. But all else is dead. So dead a city that it could hold 
no hope for the vultures. So dead that it has only a name. It is 
the city of Cajamarquilla. And that is all that anybody knows. 

We wandered for hours through its narrow streets between 
thick roofless adobe walls, in many places demolished by the 
earthquakes which have punctuated the history of the Peruvian 

In the city, and in the adjacent cemetery, there are signs of 
diggittg* where grave-robbers have sought loot, and archaeologists 
the treasure of knowledge. The ground is strewn with the 
wreckage of these excavations. We walked among blanched and 
crumbling bones, sometimes veiled by the drifting sand, some- 
times naked in the sun. And with the bones are wisps of human 
hair, scraps of mummy-cloths, fragments of pottery, rotting bits of 
fabric whose bright pattern still survives. 

And all exudes a strange pungent smell, somehow oddly familiar, 
though I tried in vain to place it. As we passed through the 
streets, stopping to examine a bit of rose-colored stucco still ding- 
ing to a wall, or to look into subterranean cavities which were 
perhaps the granaries of long ago, the odor was faint, but when 
we took one of the old bones and stirred up the sand of what 
had evidently been a tomb, then this curiously familiar scent 
was strong. 

At intervals to rest we would sit upon a wall looking out over 
this silent city of death where nothing now lives but the tiny 
air-plants which grow on the dry adobe, such tiny plants that 
from a distance they look like pigment staining the walls in pink 
and in a pale greenish white. 

Yet for all its deadness it was there in Cajamarquilla that I 
first felt the reality of that dim Peru which precedes history. It 
was Cajamarquilla that was my introduction to the vast cemetery 
which stretches from Chan-Chan in the north, down along the 
coast of Peru as far as Paracas, Nazca and lea in the south. And 
what had been before merely an academic interest, a museum in- 
terest you might say, came alive among the ruins of Cajamarquilla. 
I was suddenly eager to know more of the great civilization which 



had flourished on the coast of Peru long before my sixteenth 

On the afternoon of that same day we drove to Pachacamac, 
twenty miles south of Lima, beside the sea. 

Pachacamac is more beautiful, more striking than Cajamarquilla. 
Its terraced temple stands upon an eminence facing the ocean. 
From the summit you look across a limitless blue, you hear the 
roar of waves breaking on the beach. Far below on the left is 
the Lurin Valley, incredibly green in contrast to the desert sands 
which stretch to the north; and back of you, in the east, rise the 
Andes, range upon range. 

And though everywhere the bones of the dead litter the sands, 
crunching underfoot as you walk, yet Pachacamac is less dead 
than Cajamarquilla, for of this temple by the sea there is both 
historical and legendary knowledge. 

My people of the sixteenth century had known Pachacamac, for 
Francisco Pizarro sent one of his brothers on an expedition to 
investigate tales of the riches of the temple. With this expedition 
there was Pizarro's secretary, Estete, and he set down in writing 
what he saw. 

"It must be a very old place [Estete wrote] for there are 
numerous fallen edifices. It has been surrounded by a wall, 
though now most of it is fallen. . . . The people beHeve that 
all things in the world are in the hands of the idol of this 
temple. ... It is held in such veneration that none except 
its priests and servants may enter where it is or touch the 
walls. ... To it they make great sacrifices and pilgrimages 
from a distance of three hundred leagues or more, with gold 
and silver which they give to the custodian who enters and 
consults the idol, and returns then with his answer. And 
before any of the idol's ministers can enter they must fast 
many days and abstain from all carnal intercourse. . . . We 
doubt not that the devil resides in this figure and speaks with 
his servants things that are spread all over the land. . . ." 



And when, forty years later, Cieza de Leon came, the Indians 
told him that Pachacamac still talked with certain of the aged 
people, even though the Spaniards had destroyed his idol and 
set up a cross in its place. 

And nearly three hundred years after Cieza de Leon, the 
archaeologist, Squier, came to Pachacamac, and out of its graves 
he sought to reconstruct the ancient life. 

In little vaults of adobe bricks, roofed with canes or rushes, he 
found the dead. Some had been laid away in "elegant cerements, 
but often the cerements were coarse, the ornaments scanty and 
mean, the mass of mankind, then as now, poor in death as they 
had been impoverished in life." 

And among the mummies which he found, Squier has described 
a family group which was "not of the rich, nor yet of the poorest*" 

"This particular tomb [he wrote] was one of the second 
stratum of graves, and was neither of the earliest nor the 
latest date. ... It contained five bodies: one of a man of 
middle age; another of a full-grown woman; a third of a 
girl of about fourteen years; the fourth, a young boy; and the 
fifth an infant. The little one was placed between the father 
and the mother; the boy was by the side of the manj the girl 
by the side of the woman. All were enveloped in a braided 
network of rushes, or coarse grass. 

"Under the outer wrapper of braided reeds the man was 
wrapped in a stout plain cotton doth. Next came an envelope 
of cotton cloth of finer texture which when removed disclosed 
the body, shrunken and dried hard, of the color of mahogany, 
but well preserved* Passing around the neck was a net of 

twisted fibre of the agave This seems to indicate that the 

man had been a fisherman a conclusion further sustained 
by finding wrapped in a cloth between his feet some fishing 
lines of various sizes, some copper hooks, barbed like ours, 
and some copper sinkers. . . . 

"His wife, beneath the same coarse outer wrapping of 
braided reeds, was enveloped in a blanket of alpaca wool finely 
spun. It was in two colors a soft chestnut brown and a pure 



white. Below this was a sheet of fine cotton cloth with a 
diamond-shaped pattern formed by very elaborate lines of 
ornament, and in the spaces between the lines were repre- 
sentations of monkeys which seemed to be following each 
other up and down stairs. . . . 

"The woman's long hair was black, in some places lustrous. 
In one hand she had a comb, made by setting what I took to 
be the long parts of the rays of fishes' fins, in a slip of the hard, 
woody part of the dwarf-palm-tree. , . . 

"Resting beneath her body are several small domestic imple- 
ments, among them an ancient spindle for spinning cotton, 
half-covered with spun thread. . . . The contrivance is precisely 
the same as that in universal use by the Indian women of the 
present day. . . . 

"The body of the girl was seated on a kind of work-box 
of braided reeds. ... In it were grouped together things 
childish and things showing approach to maturity. There 
were rude specimens of knitting, with places showing where 
stitches had been dropped; there were mites of spindles 
and implements for weaving; skeins and spools of thread, 
the spools being composed of two splints placed across each 
other at right angles, and the thread wound 'in and out' be- 
tween them. There were strips of cloth, some wide, some 
narrow and some of two and even three colors; and needles 
of bone and bronze. . . . And there were several sections of 
the hollow bones of a small bird, carefully stopped by a wad 
of cotton, and containing pigments of various colors. I as- 
sumed at first that these were intended as dyes for the cotton 
textures . . . but became doubtful when I found a curious 
contrivance made of the finest cotton and evidently used as 
a 'dab' for applying the colors to the face. . . . And there was 
a substitute for a mirror composed of a piece of iron pyrites, 
resembling the half of an egg, with the plain side highly 

"Among all these things I dare say none was prized more 
in life than a little crushed ornament of gold evidently in- 
tended to represent a butterfly. 

"The girl's hair was braided and plaited around the fore- 
head, encircling which was a cincture of white cloth orna- 



mcnt with little silver spangles; a thin narrow bracelet of the 
same metal still hung on the shrunken arm; and between her 
feet was the dried body of a parrot, doubtless her pet in life, 
brought perhaps from the distant Amazonian valleys. 

"Surrounding the body of the boy there was nothing of 
especial interest, but the finely braided sling bound about 
his forehead. 

"The body of the infant, a girl, had been embedded in the 
fleece of the alpaca, then wrapped in fine cotton cloth. The 
only article found with the body was a sea-shell containing 
pebbles, the orifice closed with a hard pitch-like substance. 

"It was the child's rattle." 

Squier assumes that in life the family laid to rest in this tomb 
lived in an apartment ... in one of the tenement houses in the 
ancient city. He described such apartments as of "one story, 
with no narrow, dark passages, but all opening on a spacious 
central court. Some of the apartments were composed of a single 
room. This family probably had three; a large one, about fifteen 
feet square; a small sleeping-room with a raised bank of earth 
at one end; and another smaller room, a kitchen, with niches 
in the wall to receive utensils, and with vessels sunk in the earth 
to contain maize, beans and other articles of food." 

And with the testimony of Estete, of Cieza de Leon, and of 
Squier in your mind, as you climb the terraces which lead to 
the summit of the temple of Pachacamac, that far past springs into 

The high perpendicular walls of the temple terraces which, 
here and there, still show rose-red and chrome-yellow stucco, are 
once more brilliant under the blue sky. And once more you 
see the vivid murals of men- and beasts, and the gold door of the 
idol's temple, inlaid with coral and precious stones, and you get 
the odor of .bloody sacrifice as Hernando Pizarro and Estete 
rudely throw open the door. 

When you reach the summit and look down upon the plain 
where the drifting sand of the centuries has buried the 



remains of what was formerly a sacred Mecca, the city again 
is crowded with pilgrims, many bringing their dead from great 
distances that they may rest forever in this holy place, others 
coming with gold and silver to consult the great oracle. 

Somewhere in that past a fisherman spreads his net, his 
wife combs her long black lustrous hair, a baby aimlessly waves 
a sea-shell rattle, a young girl dreaming bewildering dreams of 
puberty is carefully painting her face. A small boy, scornful of 
the new absorptions of his sister, goes off to play alone with his 
sling; while with a detached air the parrot surveys the scene. 

From the summit of this temple of Pachacamac you look out 
upon a land of sands, shimmering like the sands of Egypt, and 
a valley green as the valley of the Nile, a land as rich in tombs 
and temples as the land of the Pharaohs. But with the difference 
that here is the Pacific, stretching away in the west to a far 
horizon, while in the east rise the Andes; and this combination 
of mountain and sea and haunted desert is Peru, and nowhere 
else in the world. 

As I stood on the summit of the temple, the sea below was 
flecked with white guano islets. The wind blew from the ocean 
and was strongly charged with that same odor which clung 
to the content of every grave. I realized then that the odor came 
from the guano islands, and suddenly I understood the familiarity 
which had puzzled me. 

It was the odor of guano. And I was a child on a tobacco 
plantation, and great brown canvas sacks of guano were piled 
high in the ox-cart which brought them from the nearest railway 

But why are the ancient graves saturated with that pungent 

The explanation, I was told, is that perhaps guano was in some 
way used in the mummification of the bodies, or it might be that 
the odor was caused in both the guano and the mummies by the 
action of salt air upon organic matter. But whatever the cause the 
odor or guano pervades my memory of the vast cemetery of Peru. 



After that golden day at Cajamarquilla and Pachacamac, 
archaeological collections from the coast o Peru can never again 
be merely abstract relics of vague vanished civilizations, for I must 
ever after see each specimen as the treasure of some human heart, 
as a human desire for expression. 

The Museum of Archaeology in Lima is as interesting as the 
Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and both have the immense ad- 
vantage of being so near the tombs from which their objects were 
taken that it is easy to relate the collections to the setting where 
the life of which they were a part was lived. It is as though the 
fragments of a picture had been put into your hands and you 
have only to call upon your imagination to reconstruct that life, 
to set it all again in motion. 

In addition to the Museum there are private collections to be 
seen in Peru, especially the rich collection of Senor Larco Herrera 
at Chiclin, near Trujillo. 

In these contents of the ancient tombs of the Peruvian coast 
you may read so much that it scarcely seems credible that not one 
of the civilizations had any sort of writing, that there remain only 
the crumbling ruins of buildings, a few utensils, tools, ornaments, 
the fabrics in which the dead were wrapped, and the pottery which 
was placed in the tombs. 

For the decoration of pottery and textiles tell the story. 

The Peruvian archaeologist, Dr. Julio Tello, says of these pic- 
tographs that when they are carefully studied you find a definite 
relationship between them. Certain representations of men and 
animals and mythological creatures may be traced on any number 
of specimens, each with its own personality, its own particular 
r61e, as it were. To Doctor Tello these individual representations 
appear as characters in a novel whose history he follows, as from 
fragmentary pages of a book. 

Even as a layman, marveling among the collections, you may 
read much in the pottery and the textiles. You see what were 
the fruits and the vegetables of these ancient peoples. You know 
that they kept dogs and parrots and macaws, that they hunted 
deer, killed seals, and went fishing, that they planted and harvested 



crops, that they danced and sang, that they played upon tam- 
bourines and flutes and trumpets, that they brought offerings to 
their chiefs, that the various tribes made war upon one another, 
wearing helmets and armed with javelins and dubs and axes, their 
faces and legs painted in geometric design, that when a lord 
traveled he was carried in a chair on men's shoulders or sat upon 
a raft propelled by men swimming, that crime was punished by 
cutting off an arm, a leg, a nose, or a pair of lips. You see repre- 
sentations of those suffering from disease. You know that surgery 
was practiced among them, and that they found diversion in fiestas 
and dances, that they performed symbolic religious rites, offered 
human sacrifice, and possessed an involved mythology. The 
pottery shows, too, that in the great kingdom of the Great Chimo, 
whose capital was Chan-Chan, people lived in houses with gabled 
roofs, and had pleasure pavilions open to the breezes. 

Upon other pieces of pottery there is represented every step in 
the art of weaving. One shows a man fishing, using a basket 
trap, upon one a man is preparing to cook his catch in an earthen 
pot, on still another a man drags by a halter an unwilling llama, 
upon another, while a man is drinking, a monkey perched on his 
shoulder appears in the act of whispering something slyly in his 

And as though these departed artists would have us know all 
that their art could tell, they have expressed in portrait vases the 
individuality of character of their time, and the range of human 
emotion. The most interesting of the portrait vases have been 
found in the tombs about Trujillo. They are modeled in clay, 
the faces usually about half life size. There are among them the 
faces of young and old, tragic faces and gay, serene and thoughtful, 
patient, proud, resentful, and angry. 

I remember especially the face of a blind man in Senor Larco's 
collection. There is no question that the eyes are sightless, or 
that the man has come to accept his infirmity with resignation, 
that he has reached contentment. 

Among the many examples of mythological subjects, are studies 
in which the artist has forsaken realism to depict, "not the world 


The Plaza San Martin, Lima 


as it is, but man's conception of it." On one of Senor Larco's vases 
are modeled the figures of a very drunken god, carefully escorted 
by two kind, wise, sober birds who support his reeling figure, 
a bird on either side, standing about shoulder high to the god, 
who is something like six inches tall. 

To all this that the artist has related of his time, we know 
also that what we consider obscenity had its part in their civiliza- 
tion, for behind a heavy curtain in the Larco Museum at Chidin 
there are segregated those pieces which are said to be pornographic; 
I say "said to be" because I was not allowed to see them. 

And sometimes a living Indian of today will unconsciously 
throw a sudden light into the far past. There frequently appears, 
for example, on various pieces in the collection at Chiclin, a small 
fruit native to the near-by hill country. Senor Larco happened 
one day to question an Indian about this fruit The man im- 
mediately gave a name to it, and added that unless it is eaten in 
silence it turns sour in the stomach. Possibly secrecy was the 
significance of this fruit, used by a people without writing as a 
symbol to express necessity for silence and caution. 

Your mind thus full of what you have read in this pictured 
life of the ancients of the coast, you may drive through pale 
green fields of sugar cane rustling like silk in the breeze, and 
then along a desert road to the old city of Chan-Chan. 
J^tjigantic walls surround the ruins covering eleven square miles, 
oricerthe capital of the kingdom of the Great Chimo who ruled 
the coast for a distance of some six hundred miles, his territory 
irrigated and fertile beyond anything known today, for the huge 
sugar plantations of the present take in only part of a region once 
Intensively cultivated. 

! Behind its forty-foot walls the city of Chan-Chan was elaborately 
laid out, with palaces and gardens and baths, storehouses, water 
tanks and aqueducts. Its walls were covered with arabesques in 
geometric design, and with murals of scenes painted in black and 
in shades of red and yellow and orange and blue.'/ 

And at intervals in the city towered the huge huacas the holy 



places, chambered pyramids where they buried their illustrious 
dead in whatever pomp their rank demanded, and with them 
the huacos, the sacred things, the ceremonial pottery vases which 
record their life, the ornaments and figurines which show that 
they understood the working of gold and silver and copper. 

Huacas and huacos rested in the quiet of centuries, untouched 
by the Inca Conquest, unmolested throughout the long period of 
Inca rule. 

Then the Spanish Conquerors, avid of gold, discovered that 
wealth lay buried in these holy huacas, and excavation began. 
From the greatest of the tombs of Chan-Chan it has been esti- 
mated the Spaniards took between five and seven million dollars 
in gold and silver. 

Chan-Chan stands now, abandoned and disintegrating, piled 
with drifted sand; what remained of its arabesques and murals 
washed away by the rains which in 1925 fell so unexpectedly upon 
this normally rainless coast. 

So, from Chan-Chan, Moche, Paramonga, Nepena, Pachacamac, 
down along the coast to Paracas, lea and Nazca, every fertile 
valley had its dynastic history, its characteristic art, its periods 
of realism and of stylistic convention the modeled.partrait vases 
of the Ctun3jk.the extravagantly symbolic bird-demons and cat- 
deDaons and centipede-gods and many-headed gods of Nasca. 
From an analysis of these art-forms the student classifies epochs 
and dynasties in an effort to figure out the historical events of 
that Him past. 

But for those of us who are not specialists, it is enough to know 
that in the tombs of this vast cemetery extending for a thousand 
miles from north to south, those whose home was on the coast of 
Peru have left in the expression of their art, the story of their daily 
living. Here, they seem to say, look and see how it was that 
we lived, what were our activities, and our diversions, our food 
and our dress; look into our faces and understand what were our 
emotions; look upon our gods and behold what manner of things 
we believed. 




THERE are people who so completely live in the lifework which 
is their destiny that you never think of talking to them about any 
other subject. Their work appears inseparable from the pulsing 
of their hearts, as vitally essential as air to the lungs. To people 
like this everything outside the chosen pursuit seems incidental 
to the role for which they have been cast. They have, as it were, 
become merely tools through which an absorbing interest expresses 

The Peruvian archaeologist, Dr. Julio Tello, is such a man, The 
bare mention of the archaeology of Peru turns on a light which 
shines out of his eyes and through the thick lenses of his spectacles, 
illumining his face. The zest of his work is in his quick step: 
there is not time enough for all that he would do. His voice is 
vibrant with an inner propelling force. His whole personality 
is so charged with the subject to which he is dedicated that 
the man himself makes an unforgettable impression. 

My own enthusiasm is for the historical past of Peru. I often 
feel as though I were born really in the sixteenth century and 
have since lived through the centuries which have followed. Now 
my interest was extended into a time before Columbus set sail 
from the little port of Palos, with the good friars of the Monastery 
of La Rabida praying for his safe return. I had already gone 
back to the days when Cajamarquilla and Pachacamac lived and 
flourished; and, within a few moments after presenting my letter 
of introduction to Doctor Tello, I was prepared to travel as far 
into the past as he could guide me. But I had to win his guidance. 
After all who was I? True, my letter of introduction had come 
from his good friend, Philip Means, a distinguished authority on 
Peru* But I was not an archaeologist. I was just a woman writing 



a book about a country not her own, and that, not unreasonably, 
made me a suspect character to begin with. Of course, people were 
cordial: the South American is always that, but still it is for you 
to show that you are in earnest, genuinely interested. 

So the days passed and gradually Doctor Tello gave me more 
and more of what time could be spared from his classes at the 
University of San Marcos. And as I came to know him I began 
to understand how archaeology was woven into the pattern of 
his personal life. 

He was born in a little village in the high Sierra: a village still 
so isolated that to reach it you must for part of the way travel 
on the back of mule or horse. 

The village, which is called Huarochiri, lies at the foot of the 
majestic snow peak of Paria Kaka in the dominion of the tribe 
of the Yuayos, conquered by the Incas many centuries ago. 

And Julio Tello is of untarnished Indian blood. He comes of 
an ancient family whose ancestors, according to a tradition handed 
down through the years, were sons of a deity whose abode was 
the eternal snows of Paria Kaka. 

**As a child, Doctor Tello lived the life of the village. He took 
part in pagan ceremonies celebrated at the seasons of sowing and 
reaping. One of his happiest memories is of the great agricultural 
dances when all the members of the tribe, men, women and chil- 
dren, dressed and adorned in Inca fashion, danced to the music 
of flutes and tambours, and more memorable still were the cere- 
monies of the herds, taking place on the high lonely Puna. And 
each year, in August, the month of its anniversary, there was 
enacted the drama of the execution of Atahualpa, the last sovereign 

It seems as though Destiny had, with infinite care, trained the 
child, Julio Tello, for the profession to which he was to give his 

His mother was descended from a tribe of weavers, and breeders 
of llamas, who came originally from the heights of Llampilla 
where there still remain the ruins of their ranches and their 
villages. Doctor Tello remembers how, in the patio of their moun- 



tain home, his mother and his aunts and his sisters would sit at 
their looms, competing with one another in the weaving of 
blankets, girdles and mantles, of rich color and fine texture. 

Watching his mother at her work, the art of weaving associated 
itself in the little Tello's heart with every tender emotion, with 
happy childhood in the friendly village, and with love for the 
mother under whose fingers beautiful designs in warm color took 

So that now, Dr. Julio Tello, the Peruvian archaeologist with a 
world-wide reputation, can never examine a textile from the 
ancient graves without unconsciously relating it to his mother 
at her loom. There is an emotional quality in his appreciation of 
the skill and the art of the ancient textiles. I think only a full- 
blooded Peruvian Indian could add this reverence to a scientific 
study of the archaeology of his country. 

Little by little the background of the man came alive for me* 
And when I saw his small daughter, Elena, I seemed to know 
Doctor Tello himself as a boy. 

Elena is a slender, ardent child whose passion is archaeology. 
You couldn't imagine her playing with ordinary toys: her play- 
things are tiny sacred objects taken from the graves of Peru's 
vast cemetery. She will sit for hours lovingly fingering these 
huacos, making up for herself a little song, over and over re- 

gustan los huacos, 
Los huacos me gustan. . . . 

7 likf huacos . . . Huacos, 
I li^c huacos. . . /' 

And while I saw in Elena a feminine replica in miniature of 
what her father must have been, he saw in her his mother. Elena, 
he said, was extraordinarily like his mother. 

I knew then that Doctor Tello's mother had been beautiful 
as she sat at her loom; that her eyes were very bright and 



very black, her teeth white and even, her hair a burnished ebony, 
and her skin of a color not easy to describe; not the copper hue 
of the North American Indian, nor the clear amber of the 
Oriental, but something between the two. And when I think of 
her hands guiding the threads on her loom, I see them finely 
formed, delicate little hands, busy over the pattern of the fabric, 
all unconscious that the work of her fingers was to be forever 
inseparable from the profession for which her little Julio was 

Because of Elena, Doctor Tello's mother is thus a clear image 
in my mind. 

So I see her at her weaving in the quiet of the high village, when 
something happened which was to play a decisive part in her 
son's future. 

His father was a man of vision, a leader in progressive ideas; 
he would have schools established and irrigation works: as mayor 
of the village, he would keep the inherited ceremonies free from 
the debauchery of liquor: altogether he was a man of importance 
in Huarochiri. Thus, when the director of an asylum in Lima 
wanted to assemble a collection of trepanned skulls from the 
ancient Inca graves, it was logical that the Prefect of Lima should 
have appealed to Doctor Tello's father for assistance in the matter. 

And the child Julio saw these skulls before they were shipped 
down to Lima. He was interested and curious, though he did not 
then guess the influence they were to have upon his own future. 

The next memorable event in his life was the decision that 
he should be sent to school in Lima. The education of his chil- 
dren had been his father's great concern; education he thought 
the most precious thing to which a man might aspire. While the 
little Julio's mother could conceive no greater felicity than the 
tending of flocks, or the cultivation of the soil, or the arts of weav- 
ing and of music. She could not read nor write, and she did not 
feel the need of either. She had learned by heart the contents 
of the elementary school books, the catechism, and the prayers of 
the Mass; and she taught them from memory to her children be- 
fore they had learned to read 



She did not sec that more education was necessary. 

To his father, the education of his sons was a contribution to the 
well-being of the family; to his mother its cost would consume the 
patrimony of the home, exposing the home to a future of misery, 
since such cost could not be met without disposing of the lands 
which were the life of the family. 

Doctor Tello cherishes the memory of his mother's little figure 
busy in that cultivation of the soil which was her delight, selecting 
seeds, nursing the young plants, and then at the communal fiestas 
exhibiting with pride the finest fruits of the harvest. 

And as she went about this work, or as she sat at her loom, she 
must often have thought how extravagant a value her husband 
set upon the thing called education, life being so happy and so 
satisfying without it. 

Then, when the son, Julio (tenth in the thirteen children she 
had borne), reached the age of twelve, it was decided that the 
silver antiquities which had been guarded as sacred family relics 
must be converted into money for his education. 

Looking back upon that decision, Doctor Tello says reflectively: 
"I had not in truth, at that time, any great ambition to be edu- 
cated. I had only a grand curiosity to know Tima. I wanted to 
see what white men were like, and negroes, and Chinamen and 
soldiers and doctors and monks, and houses such as had been de- 
scribed to me by those who had seen Lima." 

Taken to Lima, he was lodged in the house of a senora who 
lived in one of die poorest sections of the town, and he was 
entered at school. 

Two months later his father had come to bid good-by forever 
to his son: 'When I am gone/* he said, "you will have to rdy 
wholly on your own efforts." 

And on his return to the village in the Sierra he had died* 

For a little while help had been contrived by the boy's mother 
and an aunt, but they had not been able to keep it up. 

His father's words had then come back to him: "When I am 
gone you will have to rely wholly on your own efforts," 

How the words had come true; Julio Tello was twelve years 



old and fatherless; lie must support and educate himself. He sold 
papers in the streets; he hung about the railroad station at train- 
time hoping for passengers who had bags to be carried. 

In reminiscent mood he said to me: "Oh, I did not really have 
it hard! Everything came easy. Do you know, that in all that 
time I was only once put out in the street? . . . And then I went 
with my mattress and knocked at the door of the Monastery of 
Santo Domingo, and asked the monks to let me come and work 
for my keep. But inside of two days I had found other work. 
At school Td made friends with Ricardo Palma's son " 

Doctor Tello broke off here to ask if I knew who Ricardo 
Palma was. 

Ricardo Palma? . . . Oh, yes, I knew. I knew and admired him 
through his collections of the traditions of Lima. 

Doctor Tello then went on to say that Ricardo Palma had 
interested himself in the little Indian boy who sold papers and 
carried bags to earn an education. And he had employed him 
to go every day to the postoffice and bring him his mail. He must 
go at noon, Ricardo Palma had said, and long after Doctor Tello 
realized that this hour had been selected so that on his return from 
the postoffice he might be on hand for the midday meal. 

"Oh, no," Doctor Tello repeated, "I did not have it hard!" 

Ricardo Palma, as it happened, was Director of the National 
Library, and when it seemed that Julio Tello could not continue 
his education, suddenly he was made assistant in the Library. In 
the course of this work, he chanced upon a volume in which 
to his great surprise he found photographs of the skulls which 
his father had collected from the Inca graves of the Sierra. 

And in that moment he knew that the work of his life was to 
study the past of Peru. He began then the study of the aboriginal 
tongue, he went on his first anthropological expedition, and 
throughout his university training he devoted himself to studies 
which would fit him to become an archaeologist. He began, too, 
to collect for himself the skulls of ancient Peru, and when he came 
to write the thesis for his degree, it was based upon these skulls. 
The thesis won him a scholarship to study abroad. He came to 


A patio in Lima 


the United States and took an MA* degree at Harvard, and later 
studied in Europe. And lie had been just an Indian boy in a 
Sierra village! 

Then, returned to Peru, he gave over his life to archaeological 
exploration and study, 

"My greatest joy," he says, "is in the discovery of the works of 
my ancestors." 

As he talks, you see how closely his profession is woven into 
the memory of his family and of ids village, how it is inseparable 
from a deep love of his native land. 

I saw that this love has an almost religious quality, and that 
it is the motivating influence of the man's life. It has guided him 
to the discovery of the great archaeological centers, at Paracas, at 
Chavin, at Huaylas, and at Nepena. It is this love which led 
him to organize the Archaeological Museum of the University 
in Lima, and the National Museum of Archaeology; and out of 
this same love has come the dream to establish in Peru an Inter- 
national Institute of Peruvian Archaeology. The dream has sent 
him traveling through the United States, winning the co-operation 
of the great authorities on Ancient Peru. "Doctor Krocber of Cali- 
fornia," he says eagerly, "Doctor Alfred Kroeber will preside over 
the Institute. . . ." 

And as I heard him talk I shared the enthusiasm of his vision. 

I have been always an apostle of the New World; wondering 
when we, its citizens, would cease to be like Dunsany's fish which 
went on a long journey to find the sea; when we would realize 
that in the Americas there is everything, matchless scenery, dnir 
matic history, legend, beauty, and a past distant, mysterious- 
awaiting exploration. I was eager for the success of this Inter- 
national Institute of Archaeology in Peru. 

And while Doctor Tello's voice was saying, "We've just scratched 
the surface of what is to be done," part of my mind was thinking 
that here in the Americas lies the hope of a truly great civiliza- 
tion, if only we are wise enough to understand that. Doctor Tello's 
Institute of Archaeology would be an important factor in the 
realization of that hope. 



Back in the high Andes, all this time, I had felt Cuzco and the 
Inca Empire waiting. And yet I lingered on in Lima. I would 
know more of what had gone before the Incas. 

And then Doctor Tello took me back two thousand years. He 
unwrapped for me a mummy. 

Oh, I had had to see him often before he would do this, for 
the unwrapping of a mummy is to him not a matter for passing 
curiosity, but a thing of serious scientific importance and a ritual 
to be approached with reverence. Ambassador Bearing had inter- 
ceded with hirn for me in this business of the mummy, and there 
was also my letter of introduction from Philip Means, and yet I 
had to prove myself. Doctor Tello had to be convinced that my 
feeling about the mummy justified his giving me that rare ex- 

And so I had seen him often before at last he said: "Very well, 
tomorrow we open the mummy. Can you be at the Magdalena 
at eight o'clock?" 

The Magdalena stands on the square of a little suburb of Lima, 
not far from the sea. In the days of its splendor the Magdalena was 
a famous country house. San Martin stayed there when, a hun- 
dred years ago, he came with the expedition from Chile to aid 
Peru in the fight for independence. And later it was for many 
months the home of the great Simon Bolivar and his lovely 
mistress Manuelita. 

Part of the building is now the Museo Bolivariano, but what is 
not used for this purpose has been given over to Doctor Tello for 
the housing of those of his collections which are not on ex- 

You enter the Magdalena from a quietly dreaming little square 
set about with pink and blue and yellow one-story houses with 
the gratings of Colonial Spain at their windows. And inside 
the doors of the Magdalena, you find yourself in a high arched 
corridor surrounding a garden. The corridor is paved in alternate 
squares of black and ivory tiles, and horseshoe arches are re- 
peated around a long-neglected garden where, smothered almost 



out of sight under foliage, a fountain trickles gently. The gera- 
niums of the garden grow twelve feet tall and bloom as red as 
Bolivar's military coat in the Museum portrait* Bushes of ver- 
milion hibiscus fight for place with white musk-cluster roses. 
There are red and pink roses, too, and enormous daisies and 
heliotrope and elephant-ears and grape-vines, fig-bushes and glossy 
orange-trees and an ancient olive; all in wild luxuriance, with 
little overgrown flagged paths converging on the fountain. There 
are of course hummingbirds lured by the flowers, and butterflies 
in the sun, and somewhere, unseen, endlessly cooing doves. 

This might be any patio of a deserted mansion in the tropics. 
What makes it unique is that in the arched corridors of Doctor 
Tello's section of the building and in the rooms which open off 
them, there are stacked on the floor great bundles wrapped in 
sacking, many of them like huge lopsided cones. And the bundles 
give forth the peculiar acrid odor of guano. 

These are the mummies. 

Of these rooms which open from the corridors, one is a big 
rotunda lined with shelves, on which stand rows and rows of 
human skulls, ashy-white against the dull terra-cotta red of the 
walls. In other rooms there are pottery and boxes of textiles. 
Under one of the arches there hang side by side a male and female 
skeleton. Everywhere there is death and the work of dead hands, 
with Doctor Tello curiously alive in the midst of it. And as he 
took me from room to room I understood that to trim none erf it 
was dead. He spoke rapidly in a very soft voice, and while he 
talked his eyes shone behind his spectacles with the light of a 
spirit that lives outside self. 

His eager talk touched first upon a collection of figurines in 
clay; a spotted cat done in dark grey and decorated with white 
polka-dots, a dull red llama lying down, a white llama with a 
fat little boy, grey toes, ears lined with grey, and a hind foot 
thoughtfully scratching his head just under the right ear. 

As we moved through the rooms we paused before boxes of 
hundreds of scraps of pottery. When there was money Doctor 
Tello used to employ children to fit together these fragments; six 



pieces for half a cent. They found it more fun than any picture 
puzzle, and how clever they were at it! The girls better than the 
boys. They loved seeing the result of their work after an expert had 
joined the assembled fragments to form the beautiful ceremonial 
jars which stood on shelves in the various rooms. 

Then from fabrics of the intricate design and exquisite work- 
manship of the coast we passed on to those of the Inca period. 

"You see/' Doctor Tello said, "they are not so much, nor so rich, 
as the work of the coast. The Inca time was, after all, so quick 
only a few hundred years, and it takes centuries to develop great 


While he talked a great bee, strayed in from the garden out- 
side, droned lazily. 

"Yes, the Inca time was quick. They built upon what had gone 
before, just as what had gone before was built upon a still older 
civilization.* 5 

He spoke of the earliest times as "the first horizon," and of the 
later period, that which preceded the Incas, as "the second horizon." 

'The Incas," he went on, "knew only a little of the second horizon 
and nothing of the first." 

As I listened I saw Doctor Tello's assistants making ready for 
the opening of the mummy, passing back and forth along the 
corridor; pretty Senorita Carreon, a slender figure with a dark 
bobbed head, and an earnest-eyed young man whom Doctor 
Tello called "Mejia." 

"How pretty and young the Senorita is!" I interrupted. 

"Senorita Carreon? . . . Yes, yes. She has her Ph.D. degree, you 
know. And she's professor of early Peruvian history at the 
Woman's College as well as my assistant at San Marcos." And 
then his mind went back to archaeology. 

"Ah, the work that waits to be done in Peru! Perhaps now 
you understand a little of what there is to do. With a great Insti- 
tute of Archseology we can study what has already been found 
and then we can dig with new knowledge. . . . Yes, we will study 
and then we will say, *Ooof ! . . . Come, let us go and see how 
it isF Often I do that. I study, and then I go and dig. 



"And now that we know more . . . now that we begin to know 
a little, it seems that we go straight to the spot where wonderful 
things are waiting. Yes, now that we know just a little they seem 
to call to us*" 

It was the mystic poetic quality in this man of science that in- 
spired for me the archaeology of Peru. 

And then Senorita Carreon came to say that all was now ready. 

And I felt a tense expectancy, as of one about to be initiated into 
a great mystery. 

The Senorita had brought linen smocks for each of us, explain- 
ing that there would be much dust. And while we put them on 
Doctor Tello went right on talking: "The mummy we are going 
to open," he said, "was found at Paracas, near Pisco, you know. 
It was in 1925 that I made the find, and I took more than four 
hundred mummies from just that one cemetery. And I'll prophesy 
that this mummy we are going to open will be a priest and an old 
man, for every mummy that we've opened so far from that ceme- 
tery has been old and a priest. There was another cemetery near 
by where the mummies were of poor people, buried, some of 
them, almost naked, and others just wrapped in plain cotton 
cloth. There were many children in this cemetery, as well as 
men and women. And nearly half of them had had operations 
on their skulls, trepanning, you know. And any number had 
suffered from bone diseases. But this mummy that we arc going 
to open now . . . that will be a priest and an old man." 

By the time we got our smocks on, a loud knocking on the outer 
door announced that the photographer had arrived. 

And we began. 

The photographer had set up his camera. Doctor Tello and 
Mejia were ready. Senorita Carreon and I were perched on high 
stools with notebooks ready to record what might be found. A 
young woman was prepared with papers and pins and a wooden 
table to receive the contents of the mummy-bundle which waited 
on a low platform standing about eighteen inches from the floor, a 
mysterious bundle like a lopsided cone. 



The entrance door locked out the present and we were alone 
with the past. And the age of this mummy whose mystery we 
were to investigate, was more than two thousand years. 

At the top of blank pages in our notebooks Senorita Carreon 
and I each wrote: 

Paracas Mummy, Number 94. 

Doctor Tello and Mejia removed the outer sacking in which 
the mummy had been protected at the time of its discovery, and 
it then stood forth in its original wrapping of heavy, dun-colored 
cotton cloth laced together with cord. 

Now the work proceeded slowly and with the greatest care. 
As the outer cloth was taken off there appeared at the pointed 
end of the bundle a cluster of yellow feathers, the yellow and blue 
feathers of a parrot. 

Yellow . . . the color was sounded like the first notes of a 
musical composition, 

As the dun-colored fabric dropped away there was seen a bunch 
of arrows tied together, and a broken staff, and beneath a thick 
layer of dust was the pattern of a textile. Doctor Tello brushed 
the dust away with a soft brush. But the once beautiful fabric 
had disintegrated into mere scraps which were, however, care- 
fully put away and numbered for future study. 

Doctor Tello's staff had worked so long together that each 
automatically carried out certain parts of the work. And all went 
forward in a stillness unbroken except for Doctor Tello's voice 
dictating descriptions to Senorita Carreon, or stopping occasionally 
to command a photograph. 

Now that the disintegrating fabric had been taken away more 
feathers came into view, and the bone handle of what had been a 
flat feather fan, standing upright at the head of the bundle. And 
beneath the fan was the yellow and brown skin of a small tawny 
fox, and under that a fabric enveloping the whole bundle. When 
the dust was brushed off it was seen to be composed of alternating 
squares of peacock blue, and squares into which was fitted a geo- 
metric design of birds in yellow and red. Stretched out full 
length, it was a mantle some nine feet long by about three feet 



wide, and perfectly preserved, as brilliant in color as it was two 
thousand years ago when it was laid away in the cemetery at 

Its removal from the mummy-bundle showed another fabric, 
whose center was indigo, with an embroidered border where 
sharks in yellow and blue and green frisked as though gaily 
sporting in the sea. And when this had been removed with in- 
finite care we saw at the conical end of the bundle a turban of 
twisted fabric on which smaller sharks swam against a cerise back- 
ground. And above the turban, yellow feathers stood erect like a 
Spanish comb. 

As the folds of the mantles dropped away little roundish grey 
stones fell out of their creases; stones perhaps sacred to the dead 
man, lucky fetiches. 

Fold after fold was thus unwrapped, but the bundle still main- 
tained its conical shape, though very gradually diminishing in 
size. But it had as yet no resemblance to a human figure. 

As the work went on we found in the folds now a few peanuts, 
now the dried root of the yuca, now a sweet potato, and a tiny 
ear of corn wrapped in the skin of some animal. 

At intervals the work of unwrapping was halted for a photo 
graph and then as soon as the camera had clicked Doctor Tello 
would say, "Uisto, Mejia. Let us go ahead. Vamos*' 

So, fabric after fabric was removed, large and small, mantles 
and scarfs, and diminutive replicas of a man's garments tunics 
and a kind of "shorts"; some embroidered, others with the design 
woven in; some of cotton and some of wool; all brilliant in color. 

I began to feel a symphony of color, a composition that ran 
through all those many fabrics. There was a recurring play of 
yellow and red in varied combination, with peacock blue, with 
black, with indigo; yellow and red in geometric pattern, or in 
repeated design of stylized birds and of sportive sharks. 

Out in the square I knew that the ice-cream man was pushing his 
red cart through the streets, for I heard the thin toot of his shrill 
trumpet, but within, in a tense excited stillness the task erf un- 
wrapping the mummy went forward 



And then it was necessary to leave off work for the day. 
'Tomorrow," Doctor Tdlo said, "promptly at half past eight 


We left the bundle standing, a diminished cone, on its plat- 
form in the far corner of the corridor. We took off our smocks, 
washed from our hands the thick dark dust, and went out of the 
door and across the parti-colored square to the trolley which would 
take us back to the city of Lima. 

In the morning, doves continued to coo in plaintive rhythm, 
echoing from corridor to corridor. The skeletons, male and 
female, hung suspended in their arch, skulls still leered in rows on 
the shelves of the rotunda; all was as before, and so still that not 
even a quiver of air stirred the palm fronds in the sunny abandon 
of the flowery patio. 

And our mummy waited, hidden within the curious bundle on 
the low platform. 

We resumed our smocks then and went to work. 

Again layer after layer of rich fabrics. Our mummy evidently 
had been a personage of high rank. 

Sometimes the unwrapping went on at the top of the cone, at 
other times around its broad base. Always the dust lay thick 
and dark and had to be brushed away, and the odor of guano 
became increasingly strong. 

We came upon layers of cloth which had been partly consumed 
by some powerful chemical, and then upon yards and yards of 
plain buff-colored cotton doth. 

Sometime during the morning, suddenly I realized that the 
bundle had ceased to be a lopsided cone and had taken on the 
aspect of a human figure, heavily swathed still, but now vagudy 
a human being, huddled in a sitting posture. And then, as the 
folds fell away, it was apparent that the figure sat in an oval 

Once more the envdoping textiles were of lovely design and 
perfect preservation. A thin gold disk was found near what was 
obviously the mummy's head. And the human outline was in- 




crcasingly distinct, swathed now in a daffodil yellow, its head 
enveloped in scarlet, warm and vivid as blood. And when these 
were taken off it sat enveloped in mustard color decorated in 
cerise. Beneath that mantle was one of midnight blue, on which 
had been laid enormous tassels in variegated orange and red and 
green. And over all had been scattered small yellow feathers. 

I felt that in the putting away of this mummy nothing had 
been accidental, that the whole scheme was as much a creation 
as was the design on any individual piece; a composition with 
yellow, like a clear treble, pervading the whole conception. 

The removal of the tassels and the dark blue mantle revealed 
a wrapping of green, bordered in yellow and red and blue. And 
after that another in blue with a brilliant fish border, and more 
yellow feathers. Below that, a fabric embroidered in birds, and 
two more big variegated tassels, and finally we came to a blue 
mantle decorated with rosettes of yellow feathers, some three inches 
in diameter and set three inches apart 

This feather tapestry gave place to a new design: and for the 
first time there appeared a pattern of little figures of mythical 
human spirits, each with a human head in its left hand and an 
arrow in its right hand; the figures worked in yellow and blue 
and green against a red ground. 

Thus enveloped we left our mummy while we went out for lunch. 

After lunch it seemed only a matter of moments before we 
would reach the mummy itself, but we were not so near the end 
as we thought, for textile after textile, large and small, followed, 
until we came to a wide fringe over the shoulders and at last 
there was revealed the head, an artificially elongated head with 
greyish hair brought forward and knotted on the forehead, just 
above a glittering gold disk, rayed like the sun. The mummy 
wore a necklace of shells, and there was another gold disk which 
had evidently fallen from its place under the nostrils. In the 
bottom of the basket, on the right side near the feet was the large 
calabash bowl which Doctor Tello said was always found with 
every mummy, rich or poor. 



And now the whole mummy sat veiled in yellow gauze, its 
chjn resting on its right knee, both knees being drawn up close 
to the body, the arms under the legs. 

Somewhere a hen cackled, and a rooster crowed and flapped 
its wings. The sound came in to where we worked in hushed, 
tense excitement, and seemed in a curious way to be related to 
the unwrapping of the mummy. 

When the pale yellow gauze was gently removed from the 
mummy, it sat naked in its basket, a dark and shriveled figure, 
in the attitude of the child in the womb, its heels close to the end 
of its spine, its feet crossed, the sole of one foot on the top of the 
other, the toes turned in and up. It sat upon a deerskin spread 
in the bottom of the basket, and under its right arm there was 
tucked a tiny feather fan. And the fan was yellow, clear golden 

The figure seemed to wait there; its yellow fan under its arm, 
as though with confident expectation of a rebirth; waiting, not 
stretched out in the finality of death like an Egyptian mummy, 
but huddled within its many wrappings, like a child in the womb. 

And now the unwrapping was over. It had taken ten hours. 

Doctor Tello was completing his dictation to Senorita Carreon. 
I heard his voice saying, "Mummification pcrfecta. Casi cocinada" 

Then, turning to me, Doctor Tello said: "You see, as I told 
you, this is the body of an old man, and from the richness and 
the number of its trappings we know that the man was a priest 
of high rank. 5 * 

And suddenly I realized that I was in the presence of the "first 
horizon." I, in the twentieth century, had gone back to that far 
horizon of whose existence even the Incas had possessed no 

"If he could only tell us all about it!" I exclaimed "If only 
he could come alive and tell us!" 

"No," Doctor Tello said thoughtfully. "No, it's better as it is. 
For now what we have here is the truth. And if he could come 
alive he might want to impress us, and some of what he would 
tell us might not be true." 



While the others were busy putting away the fabrics, I sat look- 
ing at the mummy, stark in the light of twentieth-century day. 

In the flesh he had been perhaps a worldly-wise old man, with 
a priestly knowledge of the gullibility of man. Yes, it was prob- 
able that if he could speak to us he might embellish his tale with 
concocted wonders, unaware of the value and the supreme wonder 
of the truth. 



HIGH, in the Andes Cuzco waited, a brooding presence always in 
my mind. But Mummy Number 94 was insistent that I should 
make a pilgrimage to Paracas, to those dunes beside the sea where 
for two thousand years he had slept beneath the sands. 

I discussed the idea with Doctor Tello. Could he direct me 
to the exact spot from which he had taken the mummy? And 
Doctor Tello was enthusiastic. I must go first to Pisco, then from 
Pisco fifteen miles across the desert to the Peninsula of Paracas, 
and there, beyond the blue bay, I would come to the great dunes. 

And while we talked he rapidly sketched a map of the locality: 

*TThere is Pisco. There the beach, and a hotel on the beach. 
You will go at once to the hotel, leave your bags, and hire a car 
to take you to the dunes to the great dune of Cerro Colorado 
where the mummy came from. On the way you will pass by the 
village of San Andres. There is a man in the village who knows 
where I took the mummy. If you tell him that you want to see 
where Doctor Tello took the four hundred mummies, he will 
know. I will give you a letter to him and he will go with you 
himself, or send his boy. They both know the place. And you 
must have a letter, too, to the watchman at La Puntilla who is 
there to prevent the cemeteries being robbed by treasure-hunters. 
With the watchman and the man, Garcia, from San Andres, you 
won't have trouble finding the spot." 

Also it had been clearly indicated on the penciled map. 

And on the following day I flew, by local Panagra plane, to 

We left Lima in the very early morning, and reached Pisco in 
three hours. The flight along a coast of desert and rocky cliff 
and occasional fertile valley was much like the flight from 



Trujillo to Lima, a landscape to me always strangely lovely. 

The airport at Pisco is just a little adobe box set down upon 
desert sands, and from the port a few minutes by car brings you 
to the hotel which stands at the very brink of the sea, with on 
its right a few little wooden houses sprinkled along the shore, 
and on its left a steel pier jutting far out beyond shallow water 
to a depth where ships may anchor. 

The hotel is a dilapidated building which seems at any moment 
about to tumble into ruin. The proprietor, a barrel to which had 
been added arms and legs and a head, appeared astonished to 
see me, and it took an interminable time to prepare a room. Mean- 
while the proprietor would see about a car to take me to Paracas. 

I was impatient because Doctor Tello had advised visiting the 
dunes in the morning, since in the afternoons a high wind a 
Paracas, to use the native name springs up and blows the sand 
into blinding stinging clouds. 

So I did not wait to inspect my room, but as soon as a bargain 
was made with a quite delightful cholo chauffeur, I was off, 
delaying only to buy some bananas and oranges for refreshment 
by the way. 

In San Andres a very fishy village we found the man Garcia, 
and presented Doctor Tello's letter. Garcia produced his "boy" 
to guide us. The "boy" turned out to be a mustachioed man o 
serious mien. And to the son, Garcia added a daughter, a Senorita 
in a worn, faded cotton dress and a huge straw sombrero. The 
Senorita, too, would accompany me, Garcia said. 

That made four in the little car, and we had still to pick up the 
watchman at La Puntilla. But as the Senorita treated me so 
caressingly in a best-girl-friend manner I hadn't the heart to sug- 
gest that she might be left behind. 

Then, all in the gayest mood, we bumped over the sands, the 
chauffeur pointing out the sights: 

There was a palmy litde oasis from which Pisco's supply of fresh 
water was brought in each day by carts. There by the edge of the 
sea, was a small monument, marking the place where San Martin 
had landed a hundred years ago when he came with the Chilean 



expedition to help Peru win independence from Spain. There 
were the guano islands, and there was La Puntilla, the little dock 
where sail-boats landed the guano. 

At La Puntilla we set up a shout for the watchman, and taking 
him aboard we went on across the roadless sands until the car 
came to a stop at the foot of a lofty peaked dune powdered with 
fine red porphyry. 

"This," my escort said in chorus, "this is Cerro Colorado.*' 

Together, under a dazzling sun, we climbed the great dune, 
and at the summit I got out Doctor Tello's little map. 

It was on the northern slope that I would find the site of that 
cemetery of the four hundred mummies which Doctor Tello speaks 
of always as "The Great Necropolis." 

We followed down this north slope until we came to a depres- 
sion not yet entirely obliterated by the drifting sands. Human 
bones were scattered about the spot, and, to mark the excavation, 
there had been left a small heap of little stones and a low wooden 
cross which tallied with the locality indicated on my map as the 
Great Necropolis. 

"There," Garcia's son exclaimed: "there, that's where Doctor 
Tello found the four hundred mummies." 

With the map in my hands, my new friends and I then walked 
over the dunes, identifying various sites: the spot where Doctor 
Tello had found the cemetery of the bone-diseases, and on the 
opposite slope of the dune, the location of the deep burial caverns 
which he had found cut into subterranean rock. And near by 
was the Cabeza Larga excavation where the skulls of all the 
mummies were found to have been artificially elongated. It was 
at Cabeza Larga that the most elaborate and lovely of Peruvian 
fabrics the famous Paracas textile was discovered. It had 
swathed the body of an old man, with whom five children (three 
of them babies) had been buried, sacrificed evidently in honor 
of the exalted rank of the dead man. 

We scrambled over the dunes until each excavation had been 
identified, and then, sitting on the summit of Cerro Colorado, I 
looked out over the surrounding scene, 



Back over the way we had come the wheels of our car had left 
parallel lines of bright yellow where the sand showed through 
the red layer of porphyry, until, in the distance, the powdered 
porphyry came to an end, and beyond the sand was lemon yellow, 
down to the margin of the sea. Not far from the great dune, a 
bay narrowly rimmed at one end with green, jutted into the sand, 
and the bay was full of rosy flamingoes. Away to the right, dunes 
rolled into the distance, and color shimmered over their sands, 
with deep purple cloud-shadows lying in the hollows, the clouds 
themselves a pale, blue-white. And the dune on whose crest we 
sat, and the sand at its foot, glowed red in the sun* From the 
height of the dune our waiting car looked small and out of char- 
acter in the lonely setting. 

I took out once more Doctor Tello's little map, but already the 
afternoon Paracas had risen, whipping the map in a stiff breeze. 
The Senorita knelt beside me and together we held the map so 
that it might not fly away. Thus, I relocated each site, that the 
picture which I was to carry away in my mind might be accurate. 
And, noting the line which Doctor Tello had drawn to represent 
how very little had been explored, and how much remained unr 
known, I realized the extent of that mystery beneath the surface^ 
the riddle of vanished civilizations waiting to be solved. 

A people of great antiquity had dug the circular chambers into 
which they had lowered the mummy-bundles of their departed. 
And below the sands are remains of little villages which appear 
to have been inhabited at that time, and then for some reason for- 

There are in addition the cemeteries, also subterranean, of a 
people which immediately followed those of the funeral caverns. 
And to these belonged Mummy Number 94. They have left 
more traces of their culture than have the people of the cavern 
tombs. Twenty or thirty feet below the surface, day walls of 
buildings with vestibules which lead by little stairways down to 
other rooms, to kitchens with ovens and the ashes of dead fires-, to 
patios which in turn proceed down to chambers where mummy- 
bundles heaped one upon another suggest that the rooms were 



used for funereal purposes, where bodies were prepared for inter- 
ment, undertaking establishments which probably served the 
people of the fertile irrigated valleys of near-by lea and Nazca. 

Beneath the rosy surface of the dunes there are still no one knows 
how many mummies huddled in their bundles like the unborn 
in the womb; mummies of rich and poor, old and young, priests, 
and surgeons with the skill to operate on human skulls, removing 
injured or diseased parts and substituting for them precisely fitted 
plates of metal. The surgeons' instruments have been found, and 
cotton pads used to dress the wounds, and rolls of gauze for 
bandages. And in the mummy-bundles is hidden an art of weav- 
ing and embroidery, of color and pattern unexcelled ever in the 

In pottery there is nothing at Paracas to compare with the sculp- 
tured vases of the ruins about Trujillo, nor anything to equal the 
elaborate art of Nazca and of lea, but for the rare beauty of their 
textiles the mummies of Paracas are unrivaled. 

The wind was rising to a gale, molding the sands into a new 
design of arabesques, before we took refuge in the car, refreshed 
ourselves with fruit, and drove back over the sands to the Grand 
Hotel de Pisco beside a sea which stretched away over the world's 
edge to China. 

I was never more completely alone than in that hotel, and yet I 
never felt less lonely. 

I had a little table brought out to the veranda overlooking the 
ocean, and there I ate a very postponed lunch. 

Five long lines of rollers came in and broke in ceaseless repetition 
at my feet, ever nearer for the tide was rising. 

Off the end of the long wharf, in calm water beyond the rollers, 
there were anchored three ships surrounded by a flock of flat- 
bottomed lighters. And the sun glittered on the water and on 
the guano islands off the shore. The crests of the rollers caught 
the sun, flashing like lines of lightning. 

Just inside the door was a monkey chained to the back of a 
chair, and there were half a dozen cages of birds, in one of them 


In the Sierra 


a troupial whose clear treble song ran gaily up and down the scale. 

In so tranquil a place had the plane left me when in the morn- 
ing it had picked up its tail and flown away from Pisco. 

A waiter came and took away my lunch table and I was left 
alone on the veranda. Beyond the hotel, on an adjoining veranda 
sat two ragged men, and farther away on still another a black- 
haired woman in a faded orange frock sat, with her arms 
crossed on the railing, gazing out to sea. The hours passed and 
we all just sat, as if action were the least important thing in the 
world, and what truly mattered was the capacity to sit and dream. 

And while we sat, the tide had risen until the waves beat 
heavily against the wooden posts on which the veranda stood, and 
the sun had dropped until it now flooded us with a warm light 
which was not too hot because of the little breeze which had 
sprung up fresh and salt from the ocean. And by the time the 
sun had tumbled, round and red, over the rim of the Pacific the 
wind had become a Paracas which blew us all indoors. 

At night in my little room facing the ocean I felt myself aboard 
ship upon a stormy, wind-tossed sea. The timbers of the old house 
creaked and rattled and groaned, as a ship in a gale. And outside 
the moon shone strangely bright on the troubled waters. 

And I lay down to sleep with in my ears the dear familiar sound 
of wind and rushing restless waves. 

But I did not forget the dunes, nor the fact that it was a mummy 
that had sent me to Pisco, the mummy of an old man, in the crouch- 
ing posture of an embryo, a shriveled mummy, with a little fan 
of yellow feathers tucked under one arm. 




WHEN the Spanish Conquerors came to Peru they heard stories 
of that Inca who had come down from Cuzco and conquered the 
coast. People said that "everywhere he had showed clemency 
after submission, and had not deprived the people of their liberties 
nor prohibited their ancient customs," and that in their charming 
valleys he had "rested, drinking and enjoying his pleasures." 

But all this, of course, was long after the mummy with the fan 
of yellow feathers had been put away in the Great Necropolis at 
Paracas, the very existence of that civilization to which he had 
belonged having been forgotten. And even the Inca conquest of 
the coast had slipped into the past, for the victorious Inca had been 
grandfather to the sovereign, Atahualpa, whom Pizarro had found 
wearing the royal fringe. 

And when I made ready to go to Cajamarca that I might visit 
the scene of Pizarro's triumph and Atahualpa's tragedy, I had 
moved forward in time from the mummy of Paracas at least six- 
teen centuries. 

But even today there is no direct means of transportation to 
Cajamarca. You may go from Lima by sea or air to Pacasmayo, 
where once a week there is a train which will take you in six 
hours to Chilete, whence in another six hours a motor bus will 
convey you to Cajamarca, though in the rainy season there is some 
degree of uncertainty about the bus. 

Of course I was determined to go to Cajamarca. It was one 
of the things I had come to Peru to do. But I was grateful that 
the interest of Ambassador Dearing and a kind genii, known as 
"Slim" Faucett, arranged for me to go by air. The cards in Peru 
fell my way. 

I was to take the regular Faucett service north as far as Tru jillo, 



and from there, over the mountains to Cajamarca, a special plane 
was to drop me down into the historic valley. 

After a hurried lunch in the airport at Trujillo we flew away 
in a wasp-colored plane to Cajamarca, leaving the sea behind and 
turning inland, heading straight for a range of orange hills, the 
sugar plantations of Cartavio and Casa Grande dropping quickly 
away below us, for we were rapidly gaining altitude. We must 
fly high to surmount the Andean wall. 

I sat in front with the pilot, Irving Haynes, who had been pilot 
for the Shippee-Johnson expedition which some years ago had 
mapped certain portions of Peru from the air, and Haynes had 
the heart of an explorer. 

At Trujillo, an affable representative of the Faucett Company 
had added himself to our party, and there was a fourth passenger 
whose name has slipped from me. 

There was something about that flight to Cajamarca which 
will always be a bond between the affable representative, the fourth 
passenger, the pilot Haynes, and myself. Weeks later we were to 
meet by chance, and with a sense of having shared a precious 
experience. As for me, I had of course been eager in the realiza- 
tion of a dream, almost despaired of. I was going to Cajamarca . . . 
flying through a blue, bright day. 

At nine thousand feet we were passing above a little high 
village. At ten thousand, men were threshing grain on top of 
a mountain. Our altimeter climbed to eleven thousand: now 
the trees in a valley below had shrunk to bushes. At eleven 
thousand seven hundred, a world of stark forbidding mountains 
tumbled around us. It was at about this altitude that a condor 
soared in a nonchalant ease. Planes, Pilot Haynes told me, must 
always yield place to a condor, for a condor, never having swerved 
out of tic way of anything on wings, has no idea of giving place 
by so much as an inch. And any plane that collides with a 
condor will be sorry. At eleven thousand nine hundred feet, 
patchwork fields whose slopes are cultivated, appeared to us 
like little plots in a garden. And at fourteen thousand feet, there 



in the distance far below lay the oval green valley of Cajamarca. 

These were the mountains over which Pizarro's army had toiled 
in its march up from the sea. There, climbing and dipping among 
the mountains, was the road they must have followed* On any 
of the Passes it would have been a simple matter for even a frac- 
tion of the Inca's army to have fallen upon them and left no man 
or horse alive. As they had proceeded inland the vastness and 
the wealth of the Empire had increasingly impressed them, and 
the limidess power of its ruler. 

Yet, when he could, Pizarro had not turned back. . . . 

When you remember the story, with those wild mountains 
spread out beneath you, you forget for the moment the Spanish 
Conquerors' cruelty and avarice, in the presence of their daring. 
You see the valley as they saw it on that November afternoon in 
1532, when reaching the crest of the range they had looked down 
upon the tents of Atahualpa's hosts, white on the slopes of those 
mountains which shut in the valley on the east, the tents of an 
army of forty thousand. 

And the Spaniards, with but ninety horses and not quite two 
hundred men! 

Our plane dropped down into the valley, green with fields and 
trees, watered by a meandering river. 

A battered Ford had come out to meet us and we drove along 
a tree-bordered road into the town, some distance away. 

When I had feared that it might never be possible for me to 
see Cajamarca I had sought to construct it in my mind. I had 
assembled every scrap of geographic information, every stray word 
of description, especially every word recorded by the chroniclers 
of the sixteenth century. And out of this I had constructed the 
place as it was four hundred years ago. I had set the town in 
the valley and surrounded the valley with mountains. 

I had then marched Pizarro's men up to the summit and been 
present with them when they had first seen the alarming array 
of Atahualpa's tents. 

At the same time Tito, the Indian shepherd of my creation, had 



been on his way from Cuzco to Cajamarca, sent with his old 
uncle to gather news of the bearded strangers for the Temple 
of the Sun. As shepherds of a caravan of llamas the Temple had 
thought they could travel unnoticed and thus bring back informa- 
tion. The Temple would know the numbers of the strangers and 
whether it was true that they rode upon fabulous beasts and 
made war with weapons of thunder. 

So Tito and his uncle, Hanco, had reached the crest of an op- 
posite range and they, too, had looked down upon Atahualpa's en- 

Thus, as we drove into Cajamarca I was returning to a place 
where four hundred years ago I had lived for nine months in 
the Spanish barracks. And that familiar past was now intensified 
in the presence of the actual scene. 

The automobile deposited us at the door of the Hotel Los 
Andes. The hotel occupied the second floor of a small two-story 
building: it consisted of a kitchen, a dining room, two bedrooms, 
a small sitting-room, and a toilet in the hall. It seemed a hotel 
existing without customers, for the whole place was at our disposal. 

A ragged barefoot urchin, who appeared to be part o the 
establishment, at once took me under his patronage. To my mind, 
there are no children in the world so enchanting as the small 
cholo boys of Spanish-America. In their little persons they combine 
the gravity and the mysticism of the Indian with the courtly 
courtesy of the Spanish cavalier. 

This particular cholo child, who was called Fernandez, I felt 
immediately to be an incarnation of the shepherd, Tito, hero of 
the sixteenth-century novel which had brought me to Peru. 

Fernandez appeared to be about nine years old, though he assured 
me that he was twelve. He had the same air of a wisdom beyond 
his little span which I had imagined in Tito: the proud responsi- 
bility which Tito had felt for the llamas in his caravan, Fernandez 
felt for guests putting up at the Hotel Los Andes. And I, hap- 
pening to be at the moment its guest, became automatically 
Fernandez* responsibility. It was his care to see that my bag was 
put into my room, that the room door was locked with a great 



key which he took under his personal charge. It was Fernandez, 
too, who later guided me through the churches of Cajamarca, and 
Fernandez whom I entrusted with delivering a note of introduction 
to the principal of the Colegio of Cajamarca, given me in Lima 
by Cajamarca's authoress, Amalia Puga. 

This arranged, I went out to find the room which Atahualpa had 
filled with gold in ransom for his liberty. Fernandez, after 
delivering the note, was to join me. It was the matter of a moment 
only, for Cajamarca is a place of little distances, and Fernandez 
reappeared by my side almost at once. 

Yes, he was really Tito, I thought. He had Tito's subdued eager- 
ness and Tito's quick response to everything about him. 

As we walked in crisp clear Sierra air, between brightly colored 
houses, through narrow cobbled streets, each with an open sewer 
flowing cheerfully down its center, Fernandez and I conversed. 

"Fernandez," I asked, "do you know about Atahualpa?" 

"No, Senorita." 

"Did you ever hear of Pizarro Francisco Pizarro?" 

"Not Pizarro, either, Senorita." 

"The Inca," I put my question about Atahualpa in another 
form, "did you ever hear of the Inca?" 

"Of the baths of the Inca, I have heard, Senorita. They are near 
to Cajamarca," 

The conversation was interrupted by our having suddenly to 
flatten ourselves against a wall, to make way for a herd of cows. 
And then we were joined by the affable representative of the 
Faucett Company who had flown over with us from Trujillo, an 
ingratiating person who now explained that he had come with 
us because certain of his ancestors had been born in Cajamarca, 
and he had never seen the place. Therefore this Senor, by name 
Del Campo, would also visit the sights. 

We had been told that to see Atahualpa's ransom chamber we 
must apply to the Mother Superior in charge of the hospital and 
orphanage conducted by nuns of the Order of Sts. Vincent and 

The Mother Superior herself took us about^ hugely proud of 



her establishment. I must see everything. There was the church, 
the ancient church of Belen where nuns and patients worshiped, 
entering by a side door from the hospital. Especially I must see 
the old confessional, beautifully carved with a hood in the form 
of a great carved shell. And of course I must already have admired 
the elaborate facade and noticed the bells in the tower, how old 
they were, cracked and broken in the years. And naturally I 
must visit each of the hospital wards, the maternity ward, the 
consumptive wards, and the pharmacy where medicines were 

I duly and sincerely admired the good work the nuns were doing, 
but I had come to see the room which Atahualpa had filled with 
gold. * . . 

Yes, yes, of course. But here were the kitchens. The nuns 
would have me see the kitchens. And here was the patio where 
at a great central fountain the laundry work was done. 

But . . . the ransom chamber. . . . 

Privately I was beginning to be uneasy about the authenticity 
of the ransom chamber, for the hospital was so obviously a Spanish- 
Colonial building. I reassured myself, however, by recalling that 
reputable historians and archaeologists had visited and described 
the room. It must, therefore, I reasoned, exist. 

Now the orphans surely I would be interested to see the 
orphans. Here was a room full of girls being taught to sew. I must 
examine their work. 

Yes, the work was neatly done, admirable. But Atahualpa's 

These, the nun continued, were the older girls. Now I must 
see the little orphans. . . . 

The flapping white head-gear, perched like a captive kite upon 
the nun's head, led the way. 

Some of the little orphans were babes in cribs. Each must be 

Meanwhile a group of the older children would gather violets 
and roses for me in one of the patios* 

Then at last I was permitted to see the ransom chamber, used 



now as a place of storage for wheat which lay heaped in a corner 
upon the floor. 

As soon as I had passed inside, through a door cut into walls a 
yard thick, I knew this to be beyond doubt an Inca room, long 
familiar to me in description, in drawings and photographs; all 
as Sqtiier and the rest had portrayed it. 

The room was built of finely fitted stones of varying sizes, and 
set into the walls was a series of small idol-niches, their sides 
sloping inward toward the top in characteristic Incaic fashion. 
It was Inca, and nothing else in the world; massive, austerely 
simple, depending for beauty upon workmanship and line, scorn- 
ing decoration. 

" "The room measured some twenty by thirty feet. Del Campo 
stepped it off, counting aloud, the walls giving back an echo of 
his Spanish count, walls dating to the time of Inca supremacy 
before Spaniards or Children of the Sun knew of each other's 

Twenty by thirty feet, to a height as high as Atahualpa could 
reach, stretching up his arms, that was to be the amount of gold 
which he offered in return for his freedom. He, the Inca, would 
buy his liberty from the Spaniards who held him prisoner. It had 
not taken long for Atahualpa to discover the Spaniards' passion 
for gold; a strange passion, for in the Inca Empire gold was 
without purchasing power; valued merely as the most beautiful 
of the metals, and accordingly its use sacred to the Temple, to the 
Inca, and to those of royal blood. To the Spaniard, however, the 
Inca saw that gold was beyond all things desirable, and thus he 
had hit upon the plan of ransoming himself with gold. He had 
sent for Pizarro, and through one of the two Indian interpreters, 
he had explained his scheme: 

If his life was spared and he was set free, Atahualpa promised 
that he would in return give much gold. 

"How much?" Pizarro had asked. 

It was then that Atahualpa, raising his arms, had said that he 
would fill the room with gold, as high as his arms could reach. 
And another room, twice its size, he would fill with silver. 



And Pizarro had summoned a scribe to set down the contract 
in writing. 

On this expedition to conquer Peru Pizarro had brought with 
him from Toledo his young cousin, Pedro, at the time of the 
ransom a youth of seventeen or eighteen. Pizarro, who could not 
himself read and write, had his official secretaries who kept record 
of all that took place. 

But in recalling the story, I prefer the impressions which young 
Pedro received. The secretaries have never been more to me 
than names, men whose chronicles are invaluable, but who do 
not emerge as persons, while the boy, Pedro, from the grim old 
town of Toledo, with the waters of the Tagus swirling about its 
walls and its dungeons, this cousin, Pedro, was always a definite 
personality, as real to me as the young Lorenzo Sanchez de 
Montalvo who had been created out of my imagination to be 
the friend of Tito. So it is to Pedro's account (as Philip Means 
has translated it from one of the only two existing copies) that 
I turn for an eyewitness story of the ransom. 

"When the scrivener was ready to write," Pedro says, 
"Pizarro inquired on whose behalf Atahualpa, the Inca, 
ordered this thing. And Atahualpa had replied that it was 
commanded on behalf of all Spaniards then present in Caja- 
marca holding guard over him, and to those who had routed 
his forces. 

"This was the act and declaration made before the scrivener. 

"And when the act was drawn Atahualpa had dispatched 
his captains to cause a great treasure to be gathered together 
and sent in to him. 

"And Pizarro kept the Inca prisoner awaiting the time when 
the treasure should be assembled. 

"This Atahualpa," Pedro explains, "was a well disposed 
Indian of fine person, of moderate size, not too fat, beautiful 
of face and grave, a man much feared by his people. He wore 
on his head a thick colored wool, in the manner of a crown, 
the fringe falling to just above the eyebrows." 



And It was thus, as Pedro described him, that I saw Atahualpa 
in the ransom chamber of Cajamarca. 

A nun then appeared, blocking the doorway with her full indigo 
skirts and her white head-dress. There was a senor, she said, 
asking for me. And so I left the room where Atahualpa stood 
with upstretched arms promising gold in exchange for liberty, 
while Francisco Pizarro, his fierce black eyes lit with greed, com- 
manded the scrivener to write down the terms. 

The senor inquiring for me turned out to be Senor Vivas Serra, 
head of the Colegio to whom Fernandez had delivered my letter 
from Amalia Puga. 

Senor Vivas Serra had learned at the hotel that I was gone to 
visit the ransom chamber and had followed to ask if he and 
his wife might not drive me out to the Inca's baths. 

In that November of 1532, when the Spaniards, looking down 
from the crest of the range, had seen the tents of Atahualpa's army, 
there had been no turning back. All way of escape had closed 
behind them; the peril of retreat was as great as the peril that 
lay ahead. 

And when they descended into the town their anxiety had 
been increased at finding it deserted: the general population had 
vanished, and they had been received by soldiers who escorted 
them to the buildings about the central square. Here, the soldiers 
said, Atahualpa had commanded them to be quartered. 

Pizarro, putting a bold front upon his dismay, had at once, 
though it was the hour of vespers and night imminent, sent a 
deputation of cavalry to wait upon the Inca with an invitation to 
visit him on the following day. 

Pizarro's brother, Hernando, and Captain De Soto had headed 
the delegation. 

Everywhere the Spaniards had relied upon fear of their horses, 
strange beasts which had filled the natives with a terror that was 
superstitious as well as physical. 

Now on the return of the deputation Pizarro would know the 
effect of the cavalry at Atahualpa's camp. But Atahualpa had 



not shown even a flicker of fear, though De Soto had put his horse 
through all its paces, prancing so near the Inca that foam from 
the animal's mouth had sprayed his garments. 

And the delegation had had much to say of the splendor and 
state of this Lord Atahualpa. 

Hearing all this, and seeing the tents which covered the moun- 
tain slopes, it began to appear to the Spaniards that they were 
trapped beyond hope. They had looked then to Pizarro for 
courage. And the courage he gave them was of the stern stuff 
of desperation: 

"Now that there is no other you must trust in God as your 
fortress. . . . Remembering that God ever fights for His Own." 

Throughout the whole of the next day the Spaniards had waited 
in suspense for the promised visit of the Inca. He had agreed that 
he would come unarmed, as a friend. But that the Spaniards 
could not believe, and Pizarro had made all preparations for attack. 
At the signal "Santiago!" his men were to fall with all their might 
upon the enemy. The horses had been decked with bells in the 
hope that, as they charged, the ringing of the bells might increase 
the Indians* fright. And at the same time there would be let 
loose the thunder of the guns. 

Still, who could forget the numbers of the Indians, with the 
Spaniards less than two hundred! 

So they had waited in terror for the coming of the Inca. * . . 

And then, at last, toward the end of the day he had been seen 
proceeding in pomp across the valley, heralds going ahead sweeping 
the road over which he was to pass. Musicians had followed, 
playing upon drums and trumpets and flutes, and there were 
also men singing. After them had come soldiers arranged in 
companies, each with its own uniform and banner. And finally 
the Inca himself, borne on a magnificent litter on the shoulders of 
his nobles, with over his head a canopy gorgeous with feathers of 
tropical birds, and with glittering plates of gold and silver. 

Thus had Atahualpa arrived, his retinue crowding the great 



And now, four hundred years later, at approximately the same 
hour and the same time of year, Senor Vivas Serra was driving 
me in an automobile across that valley to the Inca's baths* 

We passed Indians along the way, patient and silent, returning 
to their homes in the valley or on the mountain slopes. They were 
unkempt and ragged, as though their race had not yet recovered 
from the calamity of the Conquest. 

The hot springs of the baths still gush from the earth, a 
sulphurous steam lies low over the ground, and there, fed by 
pipes of hot and cold water, is the pool where the Inca bathed: 
anyone else presuming to use it was punished with death. 

We lingered, reluctant to leave the scene, I reminiscent, Del 
Campo as always ebullient, talking much of the fortune that might 
be made in a commercial exploitation of the baths. And while 
we tarried, the sun went down, and all at once the air was frigid. 

The drive back to Cajamarca was bitterly cold, and Senor Serra 
invited us to come in for a drink. A drink of "Johxmy Walker," 
he said, would do us good. And while we drank, for our enter- 
tainment he turned on a radio. 

To my amazement the first words that came over the air were 
the words of a Spanish proverb which I had imagined as repeating 
themselves in the mind of one of my soldiers as he had stood in 
the square so long ago, awaiting the arrival of Atahualpa. The 
beat of the Inca's drums, the wail of the Inca's flutes, the voices 
of the Inca's singers, had sounded each moment nearer. And 
my soldier had thought: what could be the Spaniards* hope, out- 
numbered as they were? It was then that there had come into 
his mind the proverb. Back in Spain, in the province of Estre- 
madura, famous for its swine as well as for being the birthplace of 
so many of the Conquistador c$, it had, for as long as people could 
remember, been customary to slaughter the hogs early in Novem- 
ber, on St. Martin's Day. Out of that custom had arisen the 
proverb, that to every hog there comes his St. Martin. 

This saying had pulsed in the brain of my soldier, as he had 
waited in fear for Atahualpa to arrive in the square of Cajamarca. 

Now, by an extraordinary coincidence, on my first night in 



Cajamarca, drinking "Johnny Walker" only a few hundred yards 
from where my trembling soldier had waited, the proverb had come 
to me over the radio: 

"Coda puerco a su San Martin!' 

Sefior Serra was turning the dial, and the station broadcasting 
the proverb was gone. 

"But that's my proverb!" I exclaimed. "Where did it come 

It is one of my favorite fantasies to imagine that one day, through 
some miraculous invention, it may be possible to reach back and 
capture the waves of long-ago sound : to hear, for example, Pizarro's 
speech on the Island of Gallo: "Let each man choose as becomes a 
good Castilian. For my part I go to Peru!' Or to hear the voice 
of Columbus when he first sighted land. 

And now, here was my proverb, come to me as out of the past! 

What station had broadcast it? 

But Sefior Serra was unable to locate the station. In the attempt, 
within fifteen minutes, we had tuned in on a broadcast from 
Philadelphia of a football game, music from Schenectady, a 
Cockney monologue from London, an orchestra from Germany, a 
song from Madrid, a comedienne from Paris, a brass band from 
Panama, songs from Bogota, Medellin and Lima. 

Sefior Serra's radio, which brought the world to the faraway 
Andean town of Cajamarca, was marked with the familiar trade 
name, Philco. That achievement of linking the world to Caja- 
marca was a miracle, but the wonder that went with me, back 
through the night to my bleak little room in the Hotel Los 
Andes, was the coincidence which had brought to me words that I 
had imagined in the mind of a soldier of four hundred years ago. 

After dinner, while I made ready for my arctic bed, I heard a 
voice softly singing, and looking down into the street I saw that 
it was a woman, swathed from head to foot in black, walking 
close to the wall, and singing softly to herself in the darkness. 

Was her song, like the proverb, also out of the sixteenth century? 

I wondered. 



And in the morning I was wakened by the sound of a drum 
and a trumpet under my window. Throwing open the doors on 
the little balcony I saw a procession of Indians, led by a drummer 
and by men with wooden trumpets twelve feet long. Following, 
high on a platform was a blue and tinsel Virgin, swaying uncer- 
tainly on the shoulders of her bearers. 

The procession passed and I went out into the plaza. The 
cold of night was forgotten in the tender warmth of the sun. 
By day it is impossible to believe in the Andean night, just as in 
the sunlight I found it hard to believe in the rains. Surely the 
plaza was always sunny, with Indians softly coming and going, 
their voices soft like their footfalls. 

When I remember Cajamarca I feel as though a mantle of still- 
ness had descended upon me. My voice shifts to the low key of 
the Indian and my spirit is quiet. 

It was on a Sunday that I sat in the plaza of Cajamarca. It was 
also a fiesta of some sort. That I knew from the promenade of 
the Virgin, and from the fact that in various parts of the town 
a rocket would suddenly go up, bursting into a shower of sparks 
whose brilliance could not compete with the shining day. The 
rocket would die away, and after an interval, another would cut 
its swath in the air, and then perish like those which had pre- 
ceded it. 

In the plaza itself only memory is left of the fateful months 
when the Incaic buildings which once surrounded it were used 
as barracks for Pizarro's soldiers, and certain rooms as the place 
of Atahualpa's captivity. 

The houses which now stand about the square are of the 
Spanish-Colonial type, two-story houses painted rose and green 
and white, with balconies overlooking the plaza. The Cathedral 
fronting on the square and the fountain gently trickling in the 
center, they, too, are Spanish. But the hills which circle the 
valley, the hills are eloquent of the Empire of the Children of 
the Sun. The hills had beheld Atahualpa borne on the royal 
litter into the square. They had seen Valverde, the priest in the 



black and white of the Dominican Order, advance toward the 
Inca, a book in his hand. 

And from my friend, young Pedro Pizarro, I knew what had 
then happened. In Pedro's long, stirring life nothing ever equaled 
the extraordinary events of Cajamarca. And he thus relates 
what, with his own eyes, he saw. 

"Valverde carried in his hand a breviary, from which (the 
Indian boy Felipillo, interpreting) he read the matters which 
he preached. Atahualpa would examine the book, but not 
knowing how to open it, it fell to the ground. And upon 
that Valverde ordered one of the soldiers, a certain Aldana, to 
attack Atahualpa. And Aldana drew the sword and bran- 
dished it, but he did not want to plunge it into the Inca. 

"Then Atahualpa told the Spaniards to get hence, as they 
were no more than scurvy rogues, whom he was going to 
have put to death. 

"And Pizarro ordered the troops to sound the guns, and 
fire, and the cavalry to come out. 

"Then in confusion the Indians were cut to pieces, and the 
cavalry pursued them as far as the baths, working great 
havoc among them. 

"Meanwhile the litter of Atahualpa had been attacked. 
But they were unable to pull him out of the litter. Though 
they slew the Indians who bore it, others at once took their 
places and held it aloft. In this manner the soldiers spent 
much time attacking and killing the Indians. And out of 
weariness a Spaniard made as if to give Atahualpa a blow 
with his knife to kill him. But Don Francisco Pizarro pre- 
vented it, and himself received a wound in his hand from the 
Spaniard. But he cried out, 'Let no one wound the Indian 
on pain of death!' 

"Then eight Spaniards rushed upon the litter and with 
great effort turned it on its side. 

"And so was the Inca, Atahualpa, made prisoner, and then 
taken to a room and a guard set to watch him day and night, 

"Then darkness having fallen, all the Spaniards gathered 
to give thanks to our Lord for the mercies he had vouchsafed.** 



Looking back across the centuries you may see how Fate had 
moved steadily toward that hour. 

You see a boy herding swine in the oak forests of Estremadura. 
He had plenty of time to think while the hogs industriously 
fattened themselves on the sweet acorns, wasting no time, as 
though they understood that they must be ready against the 
butchery of St. Martin's Day. 

Every youth of the Spain of that century had his head full of 
fabulous tales of the New World. Especially this young swine- 
herd, who was Francisco Pizarro, would have been attracted by 
adventure and conquest, for that way lay his only chance. In 
Estremadura there was nothing for the neglected bastard, son of 
a fine gentleman by a peasant woman. Francisco knew that he 
must get away. There were his brothers, Gonzalo and Juan, also 
penniless illegitimates, and his half-brother Martin, his mother's 
son by the man, Alcantara. And no future for any of them in 
Estremadura. And if Francisco's ambition needed prodding, there 
was the older brother, Hernando, legitimate and the sdn of a 
great lady. He would be made a gentleman like their father. 

These were the things which the boy, Francisco, had to think 
of among his swine, in the quiet of the oak forests. 

The result of thinking enlisted him as a soldier. That at least 
took him away from the swine. 

And then, at last, somehow, Pizarro got to Santo Domingo. 

Now it remained only to rise to the heights that every man 
dreamed would be his provided he could reach the New World. 
But for long Pizarro found little reward, beyond the accustoming 
of his body to hardship and his spirit to peril. 

In Santo Domingo he had seen something of a cousin, on 
the Pizarro side, a certain Hernando Cortez. This cousin had 
everything that Pizarro had not, legitimacy, noble birth, worldly 
position, education. He could even converse in Latin with the 
priests and the learned doctors. He was a ladies' man, too, with 
many amorous adventures to his credit Altogether this cousin 
was an elegant personage, and with a rich taste in dress. Pizarro 
was a crude fellow in comparison. 



In Santo Domingo, the two had parted, Cortez to go eventually 
to Mexico, Pizarro to Panama. 

For Pizarro, encounters with hostile Indians were to continue, 
slaughter on both sides; he was to face disease and famine, and at 
last to have nothing to show for it but an unhealthy plantation 
on the Isthmus, with some Indians to cultivate it. He was then 
past fifty, and only this had come of his grandiose ambitions, 
while his cousin, Cortez, had become conqueror of Mexico. Cortez 
had won gold and glory. And there was Pedro de Alvarado, also 
from Estremadura. Alvarado had become famous as conqueror 
of Guatemala. 

And since the failures in life feel more bitterly the success of 
those close to them than that of strangers, Pizarro's envy would 
have focused upon the exploits of the men of his own province^ 
and especially upon those of his cousin Cortez. For it is natural to 
lament that if Ted y Fulano, born like yourself in such and such 
a locality, perhaps even related to you by blood, has grasped the 
glittering bauble of success, why not you likewise? And if in 
addition there has been similar opportunity, then there is rancor 
in your disappointment. And Pizarro had had his chance in 
the New World. Why had he not, like Cortez and Alvarado, 
men, be it remembered, of his own Estremadura, why had he^ 
too, not won the prize of power and riches? Had he not fought 
with equal bravery? Had he not suffered equal hardship? Had 
he ever hesitated to risk his life? Yet they had won, and to him 
there had fallen only that fever-ridden plantation in Panama. 

There, in partnership with Diego de Almagro, another dis- 
appointed adventurer, also like himself, uneducated and illigiti- 
mate, Pizarro had set about the raising of cattle for a livelihood, 
when the news of his cousin's conquest of Mexico had set his 
ambition once more aSame. The will to conquer had blazed in 
him again, more compelling even than in the dreaming days of 
youth when he had herded swine in the oak forests, because there 
was now added knowledge that the time was short* If he was 
to triumph it must be at once, or never. 

His mind had begun then to play about those rumors of a vast 



golden empire to the south, which poor Balboa had dreamed of 
conquering, before his jealous old father-in-law had had him 

Pizarro recalled that the rumors had had their source in an 
Indian chief who one day, watching Balboa weighing gold, had 
said that to the south, on the shores of the Pacific, there was 
a land where gold was so common that people ate and drank out 
of golden vessels. 

Why should not he, Pizarro, conquer this rich empire as Cortez 
had conquered Mexico? 

So it had come about that Pizarro and his friend, Almagro, 
had entered into a new partnership. Both past fifty, both without 
wealth, or influence, both looked upon as definitely losers in the 
great game of conquest, they now determined to sell out the cattle 
business and to stake all on one last desperate venture. They 
would conquer this Peru of golden rumor. And fantastically im- 
probable as their plan had seemed, they had succeeded in winning 
the support of the priest, Luque, who was able to finance for them 
the outfitting of two small ships. 

Their first attempt had ended in failure. In a skirmish with 
hostile Indians, Almagro had lost an eye, and all had suffered 
much from disease and hunger, until it had been necessary to 
return to Panama. But the people they had encountered on the 
coast had worn gold ornaments, and they had also confirmed the 
reports of that rich country, ruled over by a powerful monarch, 
an Inca, who was the Son of the Sun. 

And on the basis of these tales a second expedition had been 
equipped. This time they extended their exploration farther 
south. They had seen more gold, and more evidences of the 
reality of the fabulous empire. And it had been decided that 
Almagro should return to Panama for supplies and recruits, while 
Pizarro with a small force waited on the Island of Gallo. 

But a discontented soldier had sent, by the hand of Almagro, 
a gift to the Governor's wife at Panama, a ball of wool in which 
he had hidden a couplet, to the effect that Pizarro retained his 
men by force and that all were in peril of their lives. 



So that the ship which returned to the Island of Gallo had 
brought, not fresh recruits, but a command from the Governor 
that Pizarro return immediately, 

It was then that Pizarro had drawn that line in the sand, and 
defying the Governor's order, had made the fateful speech de- 
claring that for his part he went south to Peru. 

After that, with the sixteen men who had dared to follow him 
across the line, pledging themselves to the conquest, he had 
moved from Gallo to the Island of Gorgona, to wait there in the 
hope that Almagro might still come with reinforcements; while 
the Governor's ship took back to Panama those without the spirit 
or the stomach to continue. 

There, on Gorgona, for months they had waited, hoping, fearing; 
waiting. . . . 

Then at last the ship had come, come, not with the recruits, but 
to rescue them from their obstinate folly. 

But Pizarro's determination had not faltered. He had used 
the vessel for futher exploration. And with every mile that they 
had sailed south, they had seen signs of a rich country. At Tumbez 
there had been an Inca noble, with the lobes of his ears so distended 
to receive great golden ear-plugs, that the Spaniards from that 
moment had given to the Inca nobility the name of Orejoncs 
Great Ears. They had seen also temples decorated with plates of 
gold and silver, and sacred vessels of these precious metals. 

With such ornaments as these, with a couple of the strange 
llamas which the Peruvians used as beasts of burden, with some 
of the native textiles, and with two Indian boys whom he planned 
to train as interpreters, Pizarro had returned to Panama. Surely 
now, he had thought, a great expedition might be organized. 
But still the Governor was uninterested. And Pizarro, Almagro 
and Luque, in conference, had decided that they must appeal to 
the Court of Spain. And thus it was that Pizarro, with his 
Indians and his llamas, his textiles and his ornaments of gold 
and silver, had set sail for Spain, to lay his plan before the 
Emperor, Charles V, then in residence at Toledo, 

And upon his arrival Pizarro had gone first to pray at the shrine 


of the Virgin in the Monastery of La Rabida, at whsDse gates 
Columbus, forty years before, had knocked, begging bread and 
a drink of water for himself and his little son. There, Columbus 
had found at last belief in the dream for which he had been 
eighteen years seeking a patron. And it had been through the 
Prior of this Monastery that he had finally won the support of 

So, Pizarro had wished to pray before La Rabida's miraculous 
Virgin, before going on to Toledo. And at La Rabida, by an 
amazing coincidence, he had found his cousin, Cortez, on the 
way from Mexico to lay his case before the Emperor; Cortez, too, 
praying first to the Virgin of La Rabida. 

From the Crown eventually Pizarro had received authorization 
for conquest in the land called Peru, and with it the rank of 
Governor and Captain General. 

Living at the time in Toledo there had been Pizarro's cousin 
Pedro, eager, of course, to go himself to the New World. And 
Pizarro, hard and inflexible always, except toward his family, 
had taken Pedro to serve as his page. Pizarro's brothers also had 
been added to the expedition: Gonzalo and Juan Pizarro, the 
half-brother, Martin de Alcantara, and the gentleman-brother^ 
Hernando Pizarro. 

Then, at last, after many vicissitudes, and after quarrels with 
Almagro, because at the Court of Spain Pizarro had taken for 
himself the greatest honors and powers, finally Fate had brought 
Pizarro to Cajamarca, and had at the same time brought Atahualpa 
there to meet him; Atahualpa, Lord of the great Inca Empire, 
which in the four hundred years of its existence had extended 
its rule from Cuzco north to Quito, south to the River Maule in 
Chile, west to the shores of the Pacific, and in the east, had reached 
over the Cordillera, down into the jungle country of the Amazon. 

As the Empire had grown in size and power its Inca had be- 
come increasingly an exalted personage, a monarch more absolute 
than any the world has ever seen, worshiped, feared, obeyed with- 
out question by all, by the highest equally with the lowest. Even 



the greatest of the nobles must enter his presence barefoot, 
with a burden on his back. The Empire prostrated itself before 
him, crying: 

"Lord, Most High Lord, Child of the Sun. Thou art the Sole 
and Beloved Lord. The Whole Earth Truly Obeys Thee." 

It had come to be considered that for such a monarch only his 
sister, equal with himself in glorious birth, was worthy to be his 
queen, and to bear the future Inca. As in the beginning the 
dynasty had been founded by the first Inca miraculously arising 
from the waters of Lake Titicaca with his sister wife, similarly the 
Incas of the latter years had married their sisters and loved their 

So much, in fact, had the great old Inca, Huayna Capac, loved 
the mother of his son, Atahualpa, that the boy had been dearer 
to him than Huascar, son by his sister, Rahua, and therefore heir 
to the throne. And when Huayna, at the end of a long reign, 
had come to die, he had willed to Atahualpa the northern kingdom 
of the Empire. 

And again Fate was setting the scene for the conflict that was 
to be; for had Huayna not so greatly loved Atahualpa, he would 
have let the Empire descend in entirety to the legitimate prince^ 
Huascar. And thus there would never have been that bitter War- 
of-the-Brothers for supremacy. Pizarro would not, therefore, 
have found the Empire bleeding from the devastation of civil 
war, and Atahualpa victorious and arrogant, resting at Cajamarca, 
his brother imprisoned, and the chief of his enemies executed. 

Why should Atahualpa, now supreme, have feared the little 
band of strangers? Let them proceed to Cajamarca. Atahualpa 
had been naturally curious to see men so bold and so strange* At 
any moment, should they become troublesome, he could make 
an end of them. 

Thus, Atahualpa, sublimely confident in the arrogance of a 
ruling Inca and in the strength of the hosts implicitly obedient 
to hiiTij enjoyed the mineral waters of Cajamarca, while up from 
the coast the Spaniards recklessly marched each day farther into 
the Empire. Let them come. What had Atahualpa to fear? 



There will perhaps never again in the world be so dramatic a 
racial conflict as that clash between the aboriginal peoples of Amer- 
ica and the Spanish Conquistadores. For modern communications 
have so shrunk the earth that it can never be possible now for 
civilizations to be born and to reach maturity, ignorant of the 
very existence of other lands. 

When, in Cajamarca, Spaniard met aboriginal, two widely 
different civilizations were opposed. A bold individualism, 
dominated by two consuming passions greed for gold, and pious 
devotion to the Catholic Faith met in conflict an established 
system, a paternal despotism, in which the individual was merged 
in the whole, all power proceeding from the inviolate person of 
the ruler; a rigorous, oppressive system meticulously organized, 
in which the highest virtues were industry, thrift, honesty, and 
blind obedience to authority. 

The people of the Inca might not raise their station. The 
most minute details of life were controlled. Even the highest noble 
might not choose where he would live, nor whom he would marry, 
A man's diversions and his occupation were commanded. His 
dress, the cut of his hair, the size of his ear-plugs, all were deter- 
mined for him by the system. The population was divided into 
units of ten households, each unit under the direction of a 
captain, and these captains in turn were responsible to the rulers 
over fifty households, and so up to the lords of the four provinces 
into which the Empire was divided. And at the top, was the 
Inca, sole and final authority. 

If jie-Iuca^ wished to pick up an entjrejvillageLjand move it 
~t&^me c^errparfr Perhaps his reason 

was that it seemed advisable to transplant to a newly conquered 
territory a loyal village trained in the Inca idea, and speaking the 
Quechua language which it had been decreed must be the official 
tongue. Or perhaps the Inca might have had as his motive for 
the transfer the fact that over-crowded sections must be relieved. 
But he did not have to give his reasons, for he was above reason. 
In the same way armies were levied when he needed them, and 



great roads were constructed connecting every part of the realm 
with the capital at Cuzco, while relays of post-runners conveyed 
quickly to Cuzco news of what was happening everywhere, even 
in the remotest parts of the Empire. 

The ruling Incas had understood how to keep contented the 
peoples living under this implacable system. They had succeeded 
in limiting the wants of the populace to the stark necessities. And 
they had seen that these necessities were unfailingly provided* 
They had recognized man's need for amusements and for re- 
ligion, and these, too, they had supplied. 

In return, the lives and the labor of their subjects were com- 
pletely under their control. 

As Atahualpa himself was later to explain to Pizarro, the very 
birds in his dominion would not dare to sing against his will. 

And inevitably the system carried in itself the germs of its own 

Such were the people whom Pizarro had come to conquer, 
while his own followers recognized no limit to the glory and the 
power and the riches which each might win for himself; even 
though, like their leader, Pizarro, they might be illiterate ad- 
venturers who had begun life as swineherds. In the Spanish 
forces there fought side by side courtly cavaliers, unlettered peas- 
ants, jail-birds, disgruntled sycophants of the Crown, and eager 
youths seeking adventure. Each believed that, with a good sword 
in his hand, and the protection of his God, the world might 
be his. As for Francisco Pizarro himself, he burned with the 
fire of frustrated ambition, with the fierce determination of agc^ 
aroused to supreme, final effort 

Fate seemed thus through the centuries to have been preparing 
for what was to happen in Cajamarca. 

Had she placed a bet on the outcome? And which side was 
she backing? The Individualist or the System? 

And now that Atahualpa was Pizarro's prisoner, what next ? 
Pizarro must have been uncertain what should be the next 



step, when Atahualpa himself had made tie move. He had 
proposed the ransom. After that, Pizarro's policy was to wait. 
The Inca bargaining for life and freedom, was easily persuaded to 
command his people to go about the work of the Empire as though 
nothing had happened. And his will being paramount, no 
regiments came to his rescue. 

The Spaniards, keeping rigorous guard over their royal captive, 
simply waited, while gold and silver, borne on the backs of men, 
flowed in from all parts of the Empire. 

The Spanish soldiers found the women of Cajamarca beautiful 
and very amorous." And while waiting for the ransom to be 
assembled these ladies delightfully passed the time. Also there 
was plenty of intrigue, of quarrels between Almagro's faction 
and the Pizarros, of gambling, of cross-questioning Indians about 
possible plots and uprisings, and of receiving those supporters of 
the defeated and imprisoned Huascar who schemed secretly against 
Atahualpa. Life was not dull in the Spanish barracks. 

To the historic characters, as seen through the chronicles of 
Xerez, Estete and young Pedro Pizarro, I had added the Indian 
Tito, shepherd of a llama caravan, and Lorenzo Sanchez de 
Montalvo, a dark handsome boy, born in the town of Sevilla, and 
a student under the monks of La Rabida at the time when Pizarro 
and Cortez had come to pray before the miraculous and blessed 
Virgin, on their way to Toledo to kiss his Majesty's feet. 

Through Lorenzo I could remember that dramatic meeting of 
the two great conquerors in the lonely little Monastery of La 
Rabida. Through Lorenzo I saw the elegant Cortez with the 
diamond ring upon his finger, I heard the suave words upon his 
tongue and was impressed with the lordly airs of this conqueror 
of Mexico. 

And through Lorenzo also, I saw Pizarro, setting forth at the 
age of sixty to conquer an empire; black-haired, black-browed, 
black-eyed, black-bearded Pizarro, a man of few words, but capable 
of eloquence when there was need, a man of vast energy held in 
leash for the moment when it would be required., a man of great 


A street in Cuzco 


dignity, though without any polish or grace, a hard, stern man. 

In Lorenzo I knew, too, the youth of Spain in that far-off 
century, and then through his eyes, and through those of Pedro 
Pizarro, I saw Peru, and with them I took part in the tragedy of 

As for Tito, I had brought him to Cajamarca that I might see 
how the Spaniard impressed a simple subject of the Inca. 

And because they were all young I had pictured a friendship 
between the actual Pedro Pizarro and the imagined Lorenzo and 

And on that Sunday morning when I myself at last sat in the 
plaza of Cajamarca, it was today which was a mirage, and Pizarro's 
century which was reality. 

The one-eyed Almagro had just arrived from Panama with 
recruits and with certain officials of the King. And when they 
saw the ransom gold pouring in, and learned that according to 
the terms of the contract it was to be divided only between those 
Spaniards in Cajamarca at the time the agreement had been drawn, 
they were indignant at having no share in it They had forced 
Pizarro to declare the ransom completed and a division made 
among those entitled to receive it For in any future treasure all 
were to have a part. 

Pedro says that these King's officials and Almagro had insisted 
also that Atahualpa should die. . . . 

"And they said to Don Francisco Pizarro that it was not 
fitting that he should live, for if he were released His Majesty 
would lose the land and all the Spaniards be slain 

"While matters were thus, a demon availed himself of 
the interpreter, Felipillo, one of the boys who had been taken 
to Spain, and who was at present enamoured of a wife of 
Atahualpa's, and in order to win her he gave Pizarro to un- 
derstand that Atahualpa was causing the assemblage of many 
troops in order to kill the Spaniards. . . . 

"And Pizarro sent Hernando de Soto out to find if any as- 
semblage was being made. . . . 



"Almagro and the officials, seeing the departure of Soto, 
hastened to Pizarro, and with the aid of the sly Felipillo, con- 
vinced him that Atahualpa should die. For Pizarro being 
very jealous for the service of His Majesty, they filled him with 
apprehension, and against his will he sentenced Atahualpa 
to burn at the stake. . . . 

"And I saw Pizarro weep at not being able to grant the 
Inca his life. . . ." 

And Pedro describes how when they took Atahualpa into the 
square to execute him, the priest Valverde exhorted him to become 
a Christian. Atahualpa then asked whether they would then 
burn him, and it was agreed that if he consented to baptism they 
would kill him by strangulation instead of by burning. 

So Atahualpa had been baptized into the Holy Catholic Church, 
before his death by the garrote in the great square of Cajamarca. 
And it was the twenty-ninth of August, in the year 1533; the 
sun had set, so that he died by the light of torches. 

And Pedro says that at the end, "all the natives who were in 
the plaza with him prostrated themselves upon the ground/' 

And on the next day his women sought for him everywhere, 
calling to him, expecting him, because he had said that if his 
body was not burned the Sun would restore him to life. 

So they went about, calling everywhere. . . 

A few days later Hernando de Soto returned, to find Pizarro 
slouching about in a great black hat by way of mourning. And 
De Soto was indignant, for Atahualpa had spoken the truth. There 
was no uprising among the Indians. 

But, it was protested, there had been other charges against 
Atahualpa. He had been accused of having commanded the death 
of his brother Huascar, who had a short time before been murdered. 
And he had been proved guilty of idolatry, and of adultery in 
having many wives and concubines, and of incest in having 
married his sister. 

Altogether it appeared to them pleasing to God that he should 
have died. 



At intervals my reminiscence in the plaza of Cajamarca, had 
been disturbed by something out of the present. A cow had 
gently mooed her way across the square. There had been the 
occasional rockets, the drumming and trumpeting for the Virgin 
in procession about the town. Now, arrangements were being 
made for an outdoor celebration of Mass. An altar was set up 
outside the Cathedral, and a carpet laid for the priest to stand 
upon. Just such a Mass, Valverde might have held for the Spanish 

Meanwhile, inquisitive about this new creature who had come 
to Cajamarca, there had gathered around me a pack of small 
cholo boys, subjecting me to curious examination, questioning my 
way of life, avid for all that I could tell them of travel by air. 
Thus young Peru, eagerly alive, came to me in the old square 
where long ago the great events of which I was dreaming had 
begun the shaping of the Peru that is to be the Peru of these 
quivering young things. . . . 



AREQUIPA is four hours by air from Lima, south along the 
coast. If the day is clear you will see the dazzling snows of 
Sarasara, Solimani, Coropuna and Ampato. At Arequipa there 
is fortunately at least one night's hiatus in the journey to Cuzco, 
for Arequipa must be part of what you will take away with you 
from Peru. 

You will pass through a door in a long, high wall, and there 
you will find yourself in a garden, under whose flowering trees 
there are lounging chairs and swinging seats heaped with gay 
cushions, and set about conveniently little tables where, if you 
like, you may have breakfast. The drive from the airport has 
been dusty, and the greenness of the garden is astonishing by 

A big, rambling two-story house, obviously built a section at a 
time to meet increasing demands upon its hospitality, has covered 
itself with flowers, as though it had drawn about its shoulders a 
great embroidered shawl, and back of the house rise the symmetric 
cone of El Misti and the frosted summit of Chichani. It is all as 
you expect to find it, if you have read Stella May's charming 
description in her Men, Maidens and Mantillas. 

And when you arrive Tia Bates is standing at the top of 
the steps to welcome you. For this is the famous Quinta Bates, 
whose proprietress has made herself and her pension in the 
garden at Arequipa known and loved all over the world. "If you 
don't know Tia Bates," people say, "then you don't entirely know 

Tia f or at once to everyone she enters the relationship of aunt 
has lived most of her life in Peru. Through her doors have passed 
explorers, mining men, traveling salesmen, scientists, diplomats, 



railroad men and aviators, authors and artists and playwrights, 
actors and actresses, owners and managers of great haciendas. 
They have come from the four quarters of the earth, perhaps they 
spend only a night at the Quinta, but the flavor, the personality 
of the place is borne away with them. Scarcely a book has been 
written on Peru in the last quarter of a century that does not men- 
tion the Quinta, and the woman who presides over it like a medieval 
duchess. For Tia is a virile, hearty person, a duchess in the manner 
of pre-Victorian days, when women combined the strength of men 
with feminine tenderness and feminine elegance. This Tia of 
the Quinta Bates tosses off her whiskies and sodas, berates and 
spoils her servants, swears when occasion demands, is so generous 
that the paying of your bill is not made easy for you, and you 
wonder what keeps the Quinta out of bankruptcy. To the young 
and the old and the troubled she is gentle and understanding. 
At the same time she has a gift for shrewd appraisal of the human 
species. I can't imagine Tia reading a printed page, for in her 
busy life among flesh-and-blood characters there is no time. At 
the Quinta, people are daily coming and going, up by train from 
Mollendo; down from Cuzco, from Lake Titicaca and Bolivia; 
arriving and departing by air from the north and the south. 
There are train days and plane days, and days when, because of a 
ship having docked at Mollendo, there may be more guests than 
the Quinta can contain, and Tia then juggles things about so that 
she may squeeze in as many as possible. 

Outside the garden wall there is Arequipa, a typical Andean 
town with the usual plazas, and churches in whose towers hang 
bells. I had an upper room at the Quinta, and from the terrace 
outside my door I could look out over the garden to the city. At 
night it was so cold that I crept thankfully under the vicuna robe 
which Tia had had spread upon my bed, and then in the morning 
I breakfasted on the roof among treetops to whose blossoms 
quantities of hummingbirds came on little whirring gauzy wings. 

Arequipa stands at about the same altitude as Cajamarca, acting 
as a landing on the mountain stairway, where you may draw a 
deep breath before the steep ascent ahead of you. 



It is when you have said good-by to Tia and entrained for the 
twenty-four-hour journey into the Andes that your preparation 
for Cuzco actually begins. 

The country immediately beyond Arequipa is as desolate as 
despair. Mighty boulders strew the arid landscape. The boulders 
are powdered thickly with dust, as though for centuries the land 
had been abandoned. You decide that this is the most cruel 
landscape that your eyes have ever rested upon. And then, sud- 
denly, to your amazement, you know that it has become beautiful 
to you. 

The traveler whom Peru thus captures can never reply to the 
question: "What is Peru like?" For it is a country so varied, so 
complex in its appeal, the grip that it has upon you, once it has 
possessed you, is so inexplicable that you grope for words. 

There is, I think, but one indisputable statement that can 
be made about Peru: it never leaves anyone indifferent. You 
become attuned to its strange beauty, as the eye becomes trained 
to a new art. 

I find my own mind returning again and again to Peru, dwell- 
ing upon its regions of desolation as well as upon its regions of 
conventional beauty, for there is sublime grandeur in its lonely 

It is at Pampa de Arrieros that the climb which is to take you 
up over the Passes, and eventually to Cuzco, seriously begins. 
And while the train pauses there, you must walk about, looking 
widely over the barren Pampa to the stark mountains which en- 
circle it, the highest of their heads snowy against the sky. And 
if the walls of life hem you in, you will find release as your 
eyes travel from an adobe corral in the foreground with per- 
haps a train of llamas passing under its roofed gateway out 
across the wastes to the horizon mountains. There seems infinity 
between you and those mountaintops, infinity and a great silence. 

If you are making the trip to Cuzco entirely by day, you will 
spend a night at Juliaca, or you may take a "dormitory** train 



out of Arequipa, and thus make only half the journey by day. 
But whichever you elect, during the first twelve hours, even though 
you are not a mountain-sickness sufferer, you cannot fail to realize 
a steady increase of altitude: the chill of the high, thin air, and 
the travail of the engine, will make you aware of the altitude, 
even without any soroche to emphasize it 

"Imagination," people tell you, "has a lot to do with whether 
you have soroche." 

I once believed that myself. I had never known mountain sick- 
ness. I had even that sense of superiority about it, so odious a 
trait in the never-seasick. 

Then, suddenly without warning, I felt that death would be 
preferable to life. There is something in this soroche of the 
Andes that strikes down those susceptible to it. You are too 
wretched to bother to take aspirin, or to remember that some- 
where you've heard that onions are good for it, and garlic, and 
wine. You are a stricken creature without resistance. You've 
experienced nausea before, youVe had headache before, but this 
nausea and this headache seem unlike any other. And with your 
giddy faintness you feel a profound melancholy. 

The reasoning part of my mind detached itself from the despair 
of soroche, reminding that in a few hours the average human 
organism adapts itself to the new altitude, and recollecting the 
terrible suffering of Bolivar's soldiers when soroche hit them 
on their famous march from Venezuela over the Andes into 
Colombia, and what San Martin's men endured when they crossed 
the Cordillera from Argentina into Chile. 

But though reason may still function, soroche dominates the 
emotions and the physical body. 

Still I had had my heart's wish, I was come up into the Sierra 
of Peru, and not even the fact that I must first behold it with sick 
eyes could spoil it for me. 

At Juliaca we had dropped down to twelve thousand feet, but 
we had still to cross the high Pass at La Raya. 

We were now crossing the rolling, uneven floor of the Puna, 
that lofty plain which stretches between the central and the eastern 



Cordilleras* It is a region of enormous ranches estancias. Miles 
of fencing enclose vast tracts of land over which roam huge flocks 
and herds, sheep, cattle, donkeys, mules, horses, llamas and 
alpacas. You wonder that they find sustenance in the coarse 
dry ichu grass of the Puna. In the rains, people say, the Puna is 
green, but, as I saw it, it was parched and dusty. Only occasional 
mossy clumps of clareta were green. The altitude is here too 
great for the cultivation of maize. Even a gnarled and stunted tree 
is a rare event in the march of the plateau from one mountain 
range to another. Railroad stations are small and spaced far 
apart, and human habitations are few, merely clusters of two or 
three round huts, with walls of the stones scattered about the 
Puna, and roofs thickly thatched with ichu grass. But human 
population is incidental to the Puna whose life is the life of flocks 
and herds. Vicunas come fearlessly close to the track, lovely, fawn- 
colored creatures, taller and more slender than deer, but with 
deers' eyes and the wide-awake, alert air of deer, holding their 
dainty heads high on long necks. There are herds of parti-colored 
alpacas, shaggy awkward beasts with short necks and short legs, 
and caravans of llamas moving in stately precision with the haughty 
superiority of camels, style in every move they make. You feel 
that they enjoy the colored fringes and bells with which their 
shepherds often adorn them, for they carry decoration with an air, 
while the alpacas have no more style than the flocks of sheep 
which trot over the plain, like animated sheafs of ripe grain, 

The beasts of the Puna are shepherded, usually by something 
small with always, somewhere about it, a splash of red. And now 
and then, there is a galloping horseman in a flopping poncho, or 
a woman in a great fringed hat, spinning as she walks, her long, 
very full skirts giving the impression that she is being blown across 
the landscape, with her small bare feet no more than lightly 
touching its surface. 

It was across this same Puna that my shepherd boy, Tito, used to 
travel with his caravan of llamas, and across this Puna, too, that my 
little heroine, Salla, traveled when she went from her father's 
house on the shore of Lake Titicaca, to enter the Convent of the 


A Dominican monk admires the Inca stone- 
work o the Temple of the Sun in Cuzco 


Virgins of the Sun in Cuzco. And in the four hundred years since 
all that happened, the Puna itself is little changed. To be sure 
the cattle and the horses, the donkeys and mules and sheep all 
came over with the Spaniards. The wire fences and the train 
puffing now so heavily as we approach La Raya, these are of course 
modern, but they seem unimportant to the spirit of the Puna 
which remains aloof, untamed; a wild land recognizing no re- 
straint but that of the snow ranges which set a limit to its extent. 

At the Pass of La Raya there is a little lake which serves as 
mirror to one of the loveliest peaks of the whole line of snows. 
And out of the lake flow two small streams, one running north, to 
reach by devious ways the Amazon, the ofher running south, 
equally fast, as if to pretend that its destination were just as im- 
portant as that of the Amazon-bound streamlet. My little Virgin 
of the Sun had spent the night at La Raya, where in those days 
there was stationed one of the Inca rest-houses a tambo, to give 
it its old name. The tambo looked down upon the lake, and across 
the Puna to snows of breath-taking beauty. 

I remembered how sick for home my little Virgin had been on 
that night at the Pass, sick for the voice of her father, for her 
mother's impulsive tenderness, and for the sound of the wind 
in the tall rushes of the lake. 

It had been at La Raya, that she had discovered the tragedy of 
parting, of change, of the end of the familiar; discovered this, not 
in words of course, for she was just a little girl, but discovered 
it in emotion. 

And the disruption of the established which had so shaken 
Salla's little individual life was destined soon to happen in the 
larger life of that Empire which Salla had been taught was the 

While the train halted at La Raya, I remembered how everlast- 
ing the Empire had seemed to its people in the days before Pizarro 
had first landed on the coast. 

Then, when we pulled out of the station at La Raya my eyes 
filled with tears as I gazed out upon the passing landscape. , . . 



Salla's life, though she was only the child of my imagination, 
became indistinguishable from my own, and realization of the 
tragedy of the Conquest rushed unbearably over me. Through 
Him eyes I watched the Puna, again rolling away to the foot of 
the beautiful snow range* . . . 

The seat in front of me was occupied by a chola serving-maid, 
nurse to a German family returning to Cuzco from a seashore 
holiday at Mollendo. 

This chola nurse-girl observing my tears, turned to me with 

"The Senorita is alone?" 


"But the Senorita has friends in Cuzco?" 

"No, I don't know anyone in Cuzco." 

This was too much. The little figure in its soiled calico dress 
faded to a dingy pink, in its too long petticoats, its coarse cotton 
stockings, its unkempt black braids, drooped with dejection for 
my plight. 

"Ah," the sympathetic voice said, "ah, the Senorita cries be- 
cause she is sick and she thinks that in Cuzco there is nothing. 
But" the voice became reassuring "but in Cuzco there is a 
doctor, there is medicine, there is everything! . . . Do not cry, 

And I knew that explanation would have been useless, for my 
new friend could not have believed that a woman in her senses 
would have chosen to leave her home and travel thousands of 
miles alone, in order to look upon the scene of the Conquest, 
Neither could she have understood that it was because of the 
Conquest and because of all that has since happened, above 
all because of the piteous ignorance with which we advance to 
meet Fate, that my eyes were dim. She would have been be- 
wildered had she been told that I sorrowed for the sorrow of the 
world, or if she had known that her own name which was 
Felicit6 was in itself infinitely touching to me in that mood 
when soroche and history combined to fill me with overwhelm* 
ing compassion, just as my tears had filled Fdicit with sympathy. 


Felicite! . . . and so pitiably little to bring her felicity! 

After leaving the Pass the train comes gradually down from 
that great altitude to a mere eleven thousand feet or so, and still 
for the remainder of the day the soroche persisted. 

But beyond La Raya the country takes on a beauty very differ- 
ent from the relentless beauty of the Pass. Valleys are freshly 
green with fields of young corn, the surrounding hills are bril- 
liantly red, with, laid upon them squares and rectangles of green, 
fields of potatoes and of grain. About the villages there are rows 
of tall, straight eucalyptus trees. Sometimes the red of the hills 
is repeated in the adobe walls, and in other villages the houses 
are brown, or whitewashed. And then, in the distance there is 
Cuzco, its dull red roofs snuggled in a green valley, girdled by 
red hills, with limitless blue mountains rising above them, . , . 

There at last was the Cuzco I had come so great a distance to 

At a station, not far from the venerable city, the station-master 
of Cuzco came aboard the train, inquiring for me. A certain 
Mr. Paterson, one of the company officials in Arequipa, had tele- 
graphed ahead to the Railroad Hotel (the Hotel Ferrocarril) at 
Cuzco, and here was Senor Fuentes, the station-master, to greet me. 

The burden of responsibility dropped from Felicite's shoulders. 
"Ah," she sighed happily. "The Senorita has friends!" 

The train puffed into Cuzco, I politely explaining to the station- 
master that, soroche being what it is, I found it impossible to 
be polite, that I must be excused from expressing appreciation, 
that tomorrow . . . tomorrow I would be polite but not now. 

The Hotel Ferrocarril and the Railroad Station, I found to be 
one and the same. You step from the train into the hotel, where 
a short flight of stairs takes you, past the dining room and a 
small bar, up to the bedrooms. 

"Tomorrow/* I repeated, as Sciior Fuentes, plus a room-boy, 
and plus the administrador of the hotel, escorted me to my room, 
"tomorrow I can be polite, but not now," 



I then put myself to bed, and Juan, the room-boy, brought me 
supper on a tray, very solicitous, adding the diminutive "itct* or 
"ito" to every possible word. Soup, on the lips of Juan, is sopita, 
instead of sopa, and cafe is cafedta. 

Soroche, I thought, falling asleep with Juan's pretty diminutives 
singing in my mind, soroche is a small price to have paid for 
having arrived at last in Cuzco. 



The Navel of the World 

IN LIMA the present and the hovering future so dominate the past 
that it has become elusive, haunting, not to be found without 
seeking. Even in the old town of Cajamarca, the future is on the 
lips and in the exploring eyes of those gangs of eager urchins who 
gather in the plaza. In Arequipa, too, the coming and going of 
air-services, the arrivals and departures of trains, the passengers 
who pause for the night at the Quinta Bates, all are concerned 
with today, with the busy commerce of the world. But in Cuzco 
the little that is modern seems negligible. For Cuzco remem- 
bers. . . . 

Venerable Cuzco remembers that it was once considered so sacred 
a city that travelers proceeding from it took precedence over all 
others on the road. Cuzco does not forget that in the days when 
it was the brilliant capital of the Inca Empire, men called it the 
navel of the world ; for here converged the life of the four provinces 
which made up the Empire, and the Empire was the universe. 

The soil of Cuzco's Holy Square was the soil of the Empire, 
for whenever a new region had been brought under subjection, 
earth from that section had been carried to the square so that 
every tribe might feel that it had a part in Cuzco, And radiating 
from the city were the four royal roads, stretching away to the 
northeast, the southeast, the northwest and the southwest, uniting 
Cuzco with each of the great provinces. And as the earth of 
the Holy Square was symbolic of the unity of the Empire, so the 
city itself was divided into wards representing the provinces, 
the citizens brought for various purposes to Cuzco living each 
in his proper ward. 



On this journey in time I always sought as guides those who 
had been eye-witnesses, who could say to me: "These things I my- 
self saw." 

And when eye-witnesses were lacking, because during the early 
centuries of my journey few were skilled in the business of writ- 
ing, then I turned for guidance to such as could say: "These 
things I had from those who themselves had seen, from those of 
the conquered who survived, while the scenes I have described 
from my own observations, made soon after the events recorded." 

Throughout the sixteenth century, I turned often to Pedro 
Pizarro as one who had been a part of the Conquest. In matters 
concerning his Pizarro cousins, Pedro is sometimes partial, but 
always honest, never, I think, intentionally misrepresenting, and 
his personal feeling adds vitality to his story. You know that this 
is how one Pedro Pizarro felt and thought, from the moment 
of his landing in Peru as his great cousin's page, down through the 
years, when as a crusty old gentleman dwelling in the city of 
Arequipa he looked back over three-quarters of a century of liv- 
ing, and told his story. 

Other eye-witnesses of the time are Francisco Pizarro's various 
secretaries, Xeres, Estete and Sancho, though, unlike Pedro, their 
stories cover only the earlier days. 

Among the secondary chronicles there are the priests Molina, 
Morua, Father Cabello de Balboa, and the Commentaries of 
Garcilaso de la Vega, son of a Spanish conqueror and an Inca 
princess, who having spent the first twenty years of his life in 
Cuzco, wrote out of reminiscence and out of the tales he heard 
when his mother's family talked of the old days, before the 
Conquest. But Garcilaso, born of both the victor and the van- 
quished, has always a case to prove, so that in spite of my affection 
for him, it was the young soldier, Cieza de Le6n, to whom I turned 
when eye-witnesses failed; though my doing so would, I know, 
irritate old Pedro Pizarro, who used to say waspishly: "Who is 
this Cieza de Le<5n anyway? I never heard of him in the early 

As for Cieza, he was possessed of an intellect, of the gift of 



acute observation, and of a detached sincerity, while my friend 
Pedro had none of these qualities. Cieza came out to America 
at the age of fourteen. He went first to what is now Colombia, 
and from there he traveled overland into Peru, and through the 
greater part of his seventeen years in the New World he had kept 
a journal 

"Oftentimes [he says] when the other soldiers were repos- 
ing I was tiring myself by writing. . . . Neither fatigue nor the 
ruggedness of the country, nor the mountains and rivers, nor 
intolerable hunger kept me from this task." 

But when I wanted to know how Cuzco had appeared in that 
November of 1533 when, marching victorious from Cajamarca, 
the Spaniards had entered the city, I consulted first the eye- 
witnesses, Pedro and Sancho. 

And from them I learned that it was so large and so beautiful 
that it would have been worthy of admiration even in Spain . . . 
"its streets laid out at right angles, very straight, paved, with down 
the middle a gutter for water, lined with stone, the chief defect of 
the streets being that they were so narrow that only one horse 
and rider could go on one side of the gutter, and another upon 
the opposite side. . . ." And Sancho was impressed with a fortress 
which crowned the hill to the north of the city. It was of a size, 
he explains, which "might well contain five thousand Spaniards, 
and built of stones so large that anyone who sees them would not 
say that they had been put in place by human hands." 

The Spaniards marching in with Pizarro found the fortress 
stored with all manner of arms, clubs and axes, lances and bows, 
shields and doublets heavily padded with cotton. 

In those days on the four sides of the Holy Square, there stood 
the palaces of the Incas, and the Convent of the Virgins of the 
Sun* Back of one of the palaces was the Houses-Learning, where 
youths of the nobility were educated; those designed to be the 
wise-men of the nation were instructed in history, tradition and 
ballads, for in the Inca civilization there was no form of writing, 



and all culture was carried forward by word of mouth, with only 
the knotted cords of the quipu to serve as aids to memory. 

The buildings of royal and official Cuzco were of stones finely 
cut and fitted together with exquisite precision. Windowless walls 
stood twenty feet or more in height, with spaces at far intervals; 
doors, whose sides sloped inward toward the lintels. The streets 
between these massive blind walls were like narrow fissures cut in 

On the banks of the Huatanay River there was the Temple of 
the Sun, with a garden terraced down to the water, and in the 
garden, beautifully worked in gold were representations of the 
animals and the plants of the Empire. Even the outer wall of this 
Temple was banded in gold, while within were great plates of 
gold, and ranged against one end were the mummy bundles of 
departed Inca rulers. 

These palaces, whose architecture was so austere, contained 
gardens and courts, halls and chambers* There were niches 
cut into the stone walls, their sides too, sloping inward, as the sides 
of the doors sloped toward the lintels. And in the niches were 
the figures of idols. 

Of this city of Cuzco, Cieza (who arrived upon the scene shortly 
after the Conquest) says that it "was full of strangers . . . many 
different tribes and lineages, each tribe distinguished by its head- 
dress ... the Collas wore caps in the shape of a pump-box and 
made of wool. The Canaris had crowns of thin lathes, like those 
used for a sieve. The Huancas had short ropes which hung 
down as low as the chin, with the hair plaited. The Canchis 

had wide fillets of red or black passing over the forehead all 

so clear and distinct that when fifteen thousand men were as- 
sembled, one tribe could easily be distinguished from another/* 

Cuzco remembers how life then flowed in its streets, how cara- 
vans of llamas came and went, how runners arrived with news 
from the farthest confines of the Empire, and "so well was this 
running performed that in a short time they knew at a distance 
of three hundred leagues, five hundred, and even eight hundred, 
what had passed, or what was needed or required. With such 


A descendant of the Incas 


secrecy did the runners keep the messages that were entrusted to 
them that neither entreaty nor menace could ever extort a relation 
of what they had thus heard." 

All over the Empire there were post-houses where couriers 
watched the road in both directions, so that fresh runners could 
immediately take over the message from incoming couriers and 
carry it on to the next post-house, where in turn other runners 

The whole life of the Empire had been similarly organized, with 
the virtues of industry, thrift, honesty, and obedience, supreme. 

And the Incas, appreciating man's need to worship, and his 
need for diversion, had decreed in every month three holidays 
and three market days; their celebration, like everything else, 
being obligatory. 

On these holidays, all over the land great festivals were held, each 
in its appropriate month, the greatest of them being the festival 
in adoration of the sun. Other festivals honored the moon and 
the earth, and the months of sowing and of harvesting. And 
there were also the yearly ceremonies of puberty, and the festival 
to ward off sickness and disaster, which was celebrated at the 
beginning of the rainy season* Each of these days had its dis- 
tinctive ritual, with officiating priests in magnificent regalia, and 
the chosen Virgins of the Sun in white robes, with gold belts and 
gold diadems. And there were dances and the performance of 
dramas and the sacrifice of llamas, varying in color and in num- 
ber according to the occasion. 

Looking back upon the Inca civilization, Sir Clements Mark- 
ham, nearly four hundred years later, reflected; and in the in- 
tensive cultivation of the land extending in terraced fields even 
up on the mountainsides, he saw proof of a people "well cared 
for and nourished who had multiplied exceedingly. In the wild- 
est and most inaccessible valleys, in the lofty Punas, surrounded 
by snowy heights, in the dense forests and in the sand- 
girt valleys on the coast, the eye of the central power was ever 
upon them* and the never-failing brain, beneficent, though in- 



exorable, provided for all their wants, gathered in their tribute, 
and selected their children for the various occupations required 
by the State. . . . 

"This government existed because the essential conditions were 
combined in such a way as is likely never to occur again. These 
are an inexorable despotism, absolute exemption from outside 
interference of any kind, a very peculiar and remarkable people 
in an early stage of civilization, and . . . skillful statesmanship." 

Pizarro had thought that he might similarly rule with despotic 
power, seating upon the throne young Manco, the legitimate heir, 
and governing through him; Manco to be but his puppet. 

Cuzco remembers the pomp of that ceremony in the Holy 
Square, when, after Valverde had celebrated Mass, Manco received 
the royal fringe from Francisco Pizarro, the Conqueror. 

And the people of the Inca had been comforted, believing that 
still they were to be ruled by an Inca, by a Son of the Sun. 

They were comforted, because they did not know. . . . 

The Long Siege 

In the year after Pizarro had crowned young Manco sovereign 
of the conquered Empire, a certain Don Alonzo Enriquez de 
Guzman, having heard much of the fabulous fortunes to be made 
in Peru, decided to seek there all that he had failed to win in 
Spain. The Don Alonzo, upon reaching the age of eighteen, had 
seriously considered his prospects: 

"I found myself," he says, "fatherless and poor, with a mother 
who was a very talkative, yet honest, good and pious woman. 
But she was unable to provide for me . , . and so, oppressed 
with poverty and desirous of riches, I determined to go in 
search of adventures, and set out from Seville which was my 
native place, with a horse, a mule, a bed and sixty ducats. . . . 
I resolved to write down all that happened to me and not 
to record anything which is not worthy of credit." 

In the course of the next sixteen years, Alonzo's pursuit of for- 



tune took him with the army to the Balearic Islands, to Sicily 
and Naples and Rome. He became a hanger-on at the Court of 
Charles V, and as he puts it, his mother unable to support him, 
he had "of necessity" taken a wife. 

He was a shallow fellow of showy tastes, and disappointed that 
none of all this had brought him the wealth he craved. 

In fact, at the age of thirty-four, he was actually further from 
his goal than upon that day when with horse, mule, bed and 
ducats, he had gone forth to conquer the world. For his pugna- 
cious and scheming nature had acquired for him more enemies 
than riches, and eventually he had fallen into disgrace with the 
Emperor, so that once more he had felt compelled to take stock 
of his prospects, and concluded that there was nothing left but 
the New World: he would go to the New World, . . . 

Alonzo landed in the northern part of Peru, and traveled over- 
land to Lima. There he found Francisco Pizarro absorbed in 
carrying out ambitious plans for the city he had founded. Already 
as many as sixty houses had gone up; adobe houses, Alonzo says, 
"handsomely painted and finished like those of Spain, with good 
gardens behind them-" 

And in Lima, Alonzo heard much of the eternal quarrels be- 
tween Diego Almagro and the Pizarros, especially between 
Hernando Pizarro and Almagro. People said that from the be- 
ginning, those two had been like rival dogs, everlastingly picking 
a fight. Now that Almagro was gone to Chile there was some 
hope of tranquillity, but before he'd gone there'd been a great 
squabble, so that Don Francisco had been compelled to go him- 
self to Cuzco to make the peace. That particular contention had 
had to do with division of the Empire; what part Francisco 
Pizarro should rule and what should fall to Almagro. 

But that, Don Francisco had said, must be left to His Majesty; 
Hernando had gone to Spain with His Majesty's share of Atahu- 
alpa's ransom the customary "royal fifth." Hernando would 
bring the Emperor's decision in this matter of partition of land. 
And Pizarro had insisted that Almagro await that decision. 



A pact of friendship had then been signed between the two, 
and Almagro had gone south, lured by rumors that Chile would 
be as rich a prize as Peru. With him had gone many of the Span- 
ish soldiers who had come down from Guatemala with Pedro de 

Hernando was now recently returned, and later there had come 
the great news that Don Francisco was made a Marquis. As for 
the division of territory, Almagro's share was to commence where 
that of the Marquis left off, and to extend south for two hundred 
leagues. But just where the territory of one ended and the other 
began was indefinite. And one day Almagro would return from 
Chile, and then the boundary would have to be decided. 

Meanwhile the Marquis appeared to desire nothing so much 
as to devote himself to the building of Lima. He seemed to wish 
now to settle down, as was but natural, he being on his way to 
seventy, and become a family man with a royal princess of the 
Incas to bear him children* He hadn't married her it was true, 
for he'd never been of the marrying sort> but the children would 
be treated as legitimate. 

When you looked at it, so the talk ran, Pizarro had won every- 
thing. The men of Estremadura could remember when he was 
just a swineherd. And now he was the Conqueror of Peru, and 
a Marquis, like Cortez. He had riches, too, as well as glory .- 
There was nothing more to struggle for. Pizarro, the Marquis, 
had everything. 

As for Alonzo, he, also, would be great. And with high hope 
he said good-by to Lima and rode up over the mountains to Cuzco, 
all unknowing that he rode toward the long siege which Cuzco 
so well remembers. 

With Alonzo de Guzman and Pedro Pizarro as eye-witnesses, 
it is possible to know the siege in the words of two who lived 
through that dreadful time. 

If I could have chosen whom I would, to give contrasting eye- 
witness accounts of the siege of Cuzco, and of what came after it, 
I would have selected Pedro Pizarro and Alonzo de Guzman. 



Alonzo, vain, frivolous, arrogant in his descent from the Kings 
of Castile, a cad and a knave, versed in Court trickery, but with a 
jovial temperament which readily made him the friends his falsity 
so often converted later into foes, was an entirely different fellow 
from the brusque downright young soldier, Pedro Pizarro. Danger 
and hardship had educated Pedro; Alonzo, though he had con- 
ducted himself well in what military service he had seen in Europe, 
was by nature a luxury-loving creature and a snob, with, however, 
that saving grace of bravery in peril, that physical daring which 
lifts the Spanish Conquistadores to the highest pinnacle of courage. 

There was additional divergence in point of view, since Alonzo 
had taken an instant dislike to Hernando Pizarro, while Pedro 
quite naturally leaned to the Pizarro side, though never extrava- 
gantly glorifying his cousins. 

For example, in Alonzo's eyes, Hernando Pizarro was a "great 
and boastful talker, a bad Christian, with no fear of God and less 
devotion to our King." 

Pedro saw this same Hernando as "a heavy man in the saddle, 
but valiant, wise and brave," 

Of his other cousins, Pedro says that Juan Pizarro was "very 
courageous, magnanimous and affable/' that Gonzalo was "val- 
iant, knew little, had a fine beard and a good countenance, and 
was a good cavalryman." The Marquis, Francisco Pizarro, he 
describes as "tall and spare, with a good face and a thin beard, 
personally valiant, vigorous and truthful, a man who always said 
*no/ because he did not wish to break his word; very zealous in 
service of His Majesty, and a very Christian man." 

For himself, Pedro admits to being "a man in the war and a 
very good cavalryman who had distinguished himself in some 

Alonzo had scarcely arrived in Cuzco when the siege began, 
and he was wishing himself well out of it and back at the Span- 
ish Court, for, as he said later, he could "certify that this was the 
most fearful and cruel warfare in the world." 

He explains that in his opinion it had come about because the 



Spaniards had "ill-treated the Indians, over-working them, burn- 
ing them, and tormenting them for gold and silver," so that one 
day the Inca, Manco, a youth not yet twenty, had, "under pre- 
tence of seeking gold for Hernando Pizarro, left the city and never 
returned." "He raised the country against us," Alonzo writes, 
"and collected fifty thousand armed men, the Christians not num- 
bering more than two hundred, half of whom were lame or halt." 

And Pedro says that when Manco's troops were all encamped 
on the plains and the heights about Cuzco, that they "covered 
the fields, and by day it looked as if a black cloth had been spread 
over the ground for half a league around the city. And at night 
there were so many fires that it looked like nothing other than a 
very serene sky full of stars. And there was so much shouting 
and din of voices that all of us were terrified. . . . And then one 
morning they began to set fire to Cuzco, At times they shot flam- 
ing arrows at the houses which, as the roofs were of straw, soon 
took fire. And they soon made use of a stratagem which was that 
of taking several round stones, heating them red-hot, and wrap- 
ping them up in cotton, they threw them by means of slings into 
the houses, and thus they burned our houses before we understood 
how. . . 

"And we were in a sufficiency of uneasiness, for certainly there 
was much din on account of the loud cries and alarms which they 
gave to the trumpets and the flutes ... so that it seemed as if 
the very earth trembled." 

Hernando had then conferred with his captains as to what 
should be done. There were those who thought that they should 
flee the city, but to do that would only have meant death on the 
Passes, so that there seemed nothing left but to try to take the 
fortress above the city, for it was from this fortress that they re- 
ceived most of the damage. And Juan Pizarro was appointed to 
lead the attack. 

Unluckily, on the day before the assault, his head had been 
struck by one of the large stones with which the Indians pelted 
the town; and thus wounded it was impossible for hjm to wear 
his helmet 



Pedro described how they went from the city to the fortress by 
way of the steep cliff, and how, after darkness had fallen, they 

Under fire of stones from the Indians, the Spaniards captured 
the first barricade. Then under Juan's leadership, they captured 
the second, and penetrated as far as the courtyard within. There, 
from a terrace above, the Indians rained stones upon them, and 
Juan being unable to wear his helmet, one of these stones had 
broken his skull But still he fought on, until the terrace was won. 
And then soldiers had borne him back, down into the city, and 
at dawn Hernando came up and took his place. 

The storming of the fortress continued throughout that day 
and the next, with the Indians holding the upper levels, resisting as 
long as their supply of water lasted. But when the water supply 
gave out, then they began to lose courage and some hurled them- 
selves from the walls, and others surrendered. 

"Thus," Pedro says, "we arrived at the last level which had 
as its captain an Orejon (a great-eared noble) so valiant that 
the same might be written of him as has been written of the 
Romans. This Orejon bore a shield upon his arm, a sword in 
his hand, a cudgel in the shield-hand, and a morion upon 
his head. These arms this man had taken from Spaniards 
who had perished upon the roads. , . . And this Orejon 
marched like a lion from one end to another of the highest 
level of the fortress, preventing the Spaniards who wished to 
mount with ladders from doing so, and killing the Indians 
who tried to surrender, attacking them with blows upon the 
head with the cudgel which he carried. And whenever one 
of his men warned him that some Spaniard was climbing up, 
he rushed at him, . . . 

"Seeing this, Hernando Pizarro commanded that three or 
four ladders be set up, so that, while the Orejon was rushing 
to one point, the Spaniards might climb up at another. * . . 
And Hernando ordered those Spaniards who climbed up not 
to kill this Indian, but to take him alive, swearing that he 
would not kill him if he had him alive. . , . 



"Climbing up at two or three places the Spaniards won the 
level. And this Orejon, perceiving that they had conquered 
him, and taken his stronghold, threw down his arms, covered 
his head and face with his mantle and cast himself down from 

the level . . . and was shattered And Hernando was much 

grieved. . . ." 

With the fall of the fortress the Indians had a little withdrawn, 
and that had brought some relief to the besieged. Then, at the 
end of a fortnight Pedro says that Juan Pizarro Juan who was 
"magnanimous and affable, popular, and valiant" Juan died in 
great agony as the result of that stone which had struck his un- 
protected head while he was fighting to capture the second barri- 
cade of the great fortress. 

But Alonzo says merely that Juan Pizarro died, and that he was 
"a youth aged twenty-five and possessed of two hundred thousand 
ducats in money." 

Mercenary Alonzo could not, of course, get over those two hun- 
dred thousand ducats in money! 

And during the long siege certain miracles were recorded: 

Alonzo wishes to make known what "Our Lady, the Virgin 
Mother of God, did for us on her own holy day." . . . 

All the five months that they had been besieged in the city of 
Cuzco, Alonzo says they had known nothing of what had been 
happening outside. Because the Marquis Pizarro had not come 
to their rescue, they had concluded that he must be dead. And 
then, on the day of the Holy Virgin, the Indians on the heights 
had cast down into the city the heads of eight of those Spaniards 
whom Pizarro had dispatched to their aid, and with the heads 
were letters which the Spaniards had carried with them, and from 
the letters those in the city knew that Pizarro was alive and trying 
to help them. 

And it is still told in Cuzco that in the thick of battle St Jaraes 
himself descended from Heaven on his white charger, and fought 
by the side of the Spaniards. 


Llamas at the walls of Sacsahuaman 


But the miracle which especially impressed Pedro was the 
preservation of the church. The Indians had wished to burn the 
Christians' church, but though it took fire it had extinguished it- 
self. Seeing this, he says, the Indians were dismayed. And as 
the month of sowing had arrived "they began then to go home 
to their lands" until finally all were departed, the Orejones and 
some of the warriors going to join Manco in the great fortress 
where he was established. 

But they said that when the winter had passed and the crops 
were harvested they would again lay siege-to Cuzco. . . . 

"Men of Chile" 

Cuzco remembers how, when the siege was at last over and 
those who had withstood it were resting exhausted from the long 
strain, two Indians captured by Gonzalo reported that Almagro 
had returned from Chile and was on his way to Cuzco. The 
same Indians said also that a Spanish Captain had arrived in the 
town of Jauja with a force of soldiers. These, it was thought in 
Cuzco, had undoubtedly been sent to their rescue by the Marquis, 

As for Almagro's return, that was bound to be a mischievous 
business. He had been absent for more than a year, and as there'd 
been no news of him the optimistic thought that he might pos- 
sibly be dead. Now the wrangling was to be all over again. 

Hernando rode out to meet him where he was camped at Urcos, 
while Cuzco nervously waited: 

"What news? What news of the Men of Chile? Had the Men 
of Chile found the riches they had sought?" 

But their great expedition had come to nothing but pain and 
trouble. They had found no gold. And their minds were set 
upon taking Cuzco, for Cuzco, they insisted, was within Almagro's 

And what of Almagro himself? What had he to say? 

But Almagro had not been present: he was gone to confer with 
Manco in the fortress of Ollantaytambo. 

And from that, Pedro says, Hernando knew that Almagro was 



plotting against Cuzco, so that no one was surprised when he 
sent messengers demanding the surrender of the city. 

Hernando urged that the question of Almagro's territory be 
left to arbitration, and a truce was accordingly arranged. 

But Pedro was uneasy. Almagro, he considered, was a man 
who when he said yes, meant no. In fact Almagro was in Pedro's 
opinion altogether tricky, "a man who when angered treated very 
badly those who were with him even though they were gentlemen, 
a man of bad language, too, and very profane But valiant. . . ." 

Valiant! . . . that was a quality so universal among the soldiers 
of the Conquest that it was not denied, even by a man's greatest 

As for Alonzo, who was among the messengers dispatched to 
Almagro's camp, in his mind Almagro was a prince with every 
virtue lacking in Hernando. But then Alonzo would have loved 
Almagro merely for not being Hernando. 

Still, even Alonzo concedes that Almagro broke the truce, 
captured the unsuspecting city in the darkness of night, and im- 
prisoned the Pizarros: though- this, he insists, was because Almagro 
believed Hernando to be secretly fortifying the town. 

Meanwhile that Captain, who had been reported as having 
arrived at Jauja, was marching toward Cuzco. 

And Manco, dismayed by the approach of reinforcements, was 
said to have hidden himself farther in the Andes. He had well 
chosen the time of his uprising, the Spaniards in Cuzco being 
weakened by Almagro's expedition into Chile, and many others 
away on the vast estates which had been granted them. It had 
seemed to Manco the moment to break the bondage of his people. 
The attempt had been long planned and was wisely timed, with an 
Indian rebellion on the coast arranged to prevent the Marquis 
Pizarro from hurrying aid to Cuzco. 

Now, here were soldiers advancing from Jauja, and probably 
more to follow them. The Indians had failed, without perhaps 
knowing how nearly they had succeeded. For the simultaneous 
besieging of Lima and Cuzco had driven the Marquis to write in 
panic to Cortez in Mexico, and to friends in Central America, beg- 



ging help : the whole conquest of Peru, he'd said, was involved. And 
soldiers had at once been sent, many of them veterans in war, 
like the redoubtable old Francisco de Carbajal, who arrived, bring- 
ing Pizarro a rich ermine mantle, as a gift from Cortez. 

Aid had thus come and Pizarro was hastening relief to Cuzco, 
with no surmise that the troops were to fight fellow Spaniards, and 
not the armies of Manco, the Inca. 

The Men of Chile went out to meet the men of Pizarro, and 
battling with a desperation born of the disappointment and futility 
of the Chilean expedition, they defeated Pizarro's rescue force and 
returned triumphant to Cuzco. 

Almagro now determined to attack the Marquis himself: he 
would take his men down to the coast and defeat the Marquis. 
Should he first cut off Hernando's head and Gonzalo's and 
Pedro's ? He wavered. His men urged it, but he was reluctant. 
Perhaps, after all, they would be more valuable as prisoners than 
as corpses. It ended by his taking Hernando with him, under 
guard, and leaving Gonzalo and Pedro incarcerated in Cuzco. 

Then, when he was well on his way, a certain Aldana, with 
whom he had had a squabble, contrived their escape. And of 
course they at once got together a group of supporters and set off in 
pursuit of Almagro. 

In the valley of Mala, not far from Paracas where the mummies 
of a vanished people slept unsuspected beneath the dunes, the 
two old friends, Almagro and Pizarro, partners in the Conquest, 
met as enemies to negotiate terms. 

Before everything else Pizarro demanded the release of his 
brother Hernando, threatening Almagro's life if it was refused. 

Hernando was freed, but in the matter of Cuzco, the negotia- 
tions failed. Both sides charged duplicity. Almagro left the 
conference to lead his men back to Cuzco. The Marquis reas- 
sembled his troops, put them under Hernando and sent them 
after Almagro. 

And at Las Salinas, within sight of the valley of Cuzco, Hernando 
and Almagro engaged in battle. Alonzo says that Almagro was 



so weak from age and illness that he had to be carried on the 
field in a litter. But for all his supreme effort to animate his men, 
the day went against him, and it was now his turn to be prisoner. 
Of what happened after that, Pedro hasn't much to say: the 
stark facts were damaging enough to the Pizarros, and it is evident 
that Pedro shuns the details. But Alonzo tells the story in full: 

"Hernando," Alonzo says, "brought Almagro to trial, con- 
demned him to death, and informed him that he should now 
dispose his mind to think of spiritual things, for that the 

sentence would be executed Then the poor old man went 

down on his knees and said: *O my Lord, remember that 
when you were my prisoner, those of my council importuned 
me to cut off your head, and I resisted and gave you life.' 

"And Hernando Pizarro answered: 'Sir, do not degrade 
yourself; die as bravely as you have lived. . . .' 

"But the old man said that he was human and dreaded 
death. . . . 

"But Hernando Pizarro went away, saying that he would 
send a friar to him that he might confess his sins. 

"Then Almagro confessed and made his will 

"And when the executioner was placing the rope around 
his neck he cried out that tyrants were killing him without 
cause. . . . 

"Then, when the deed was done, they carried the body to 
the plaza of the city and placed it beside the gibbet where it 
remained for seven hours, and was afterward buried in the 
Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy.'* 

According to Alonzo, when Almagro's will was read it was 
found that he had left his chief fortune to the Emperor, remember- 
ing next his beloved son, Diego, born to him of an Indian girl 
in Panama. And among his other bequests something had gone 
to Alonzo himself, and something to one Juan de la Rada who 
had been with him in Chile. 

And Alonzo . . . Alonzo concludes the relation of his exper- 
iences in Peru by saying, "At this time the said Hernando Pizarro 



and I had become friends, because he was alive and Almagro 
dead, and it is very disastrous to have any intercourse with the 

This belated friendship with Hernando, however, did not 
prevent Alonzo from later writing to the Emperor to denounce 

So Alonzo, returning to Spain, passes out of my journey in time. 

Certainly he was a scoundrel, at the same time crafty and 
naive, yet it is only fair to say that he appears to have been less 
cruel than most men of his day. Garcilaso de la Vega, born 
in Cuzco in the year after Alonzo's departure from Peru, heard 
him talked of as a man of kindness, and one of the bravest and 
most gallant of the knights defending Cuzco against the Indian 
army of the Inca, Manco. 

Pedro says that his cousin, the Marquis, was full of deep regret 
when he learned of Almagro's death. And it was thought wise 
that Hernando should go to Spain to put the whole case before 
His Majesty. Gonzalo, meanwhile, was ordered to lead an attack 
against Manco in the Andes, 

And before Hernando left, he warned the Marquis that those 
of Chile were "going about very mutinous," and that if Pizarro 
should allow "any ten of them to assemble within fifty leagues" 
of him they would kill him. 

Thus the brothers had parted, and Gonzalo, taking Pedro with 
him, went to attack Manco. But Manco retreated farther into 
the Andes, and the only result of the punitive enterprise was the 
capture of some of his people, among them "a woman who loved 
him greatly," 

"And the Marquis," Pedro says, "because of a trick which 
Manco had played upon him, ordered her to be killed, causing 
her to be beaten with rods and pierced with arrows. . . . And 
the Spaniards who were present told that this Indian woman 
never spoke a word, nor uttered a complaint, and so she died 
under the blows and the arrow shots which they gave her. . . ." 



To his account of the event Pedro adds that "it is worthy of 
admiration that a woman should make no moaning even in the 
pains of her wounds and in the moment of her death. . . . 

"And," he later reflects, "I understand that for this cruelty 
Our Lord punished the Marquis in the end which was his. . . ." 

The Marquis Dies 

When it was told in Cuzco that the Marquis, Don Francisco 
Pizarro, was dead, there was no Pizarro there to mourn him, 
The gallant young Juan was dead. Hernando was in Spain to 
justify himself before the Emperor. Gonzalo was away on an 
expedition to discover the Great River. But there were living 
in Cuzco Spanish soldiers who had been with Francisco Pizarro 
from the beginning. To them Pizarro was Peru, its Conqueror 
and its Governor. "The Governor" they had called him that 
so long that even after he was become Marquis as well as Governor, 
the more familiar tide clung to him. 

And now the Governor was dead. 

Why hadn't he heeded Hernando's warning that if he per- 
mitted as many as ten of the Men of Chile to gather within fifty 
leagues of him they would surely kill him? 

Now it had happened. 

And Cuzco listened to the details. Little Garcilaso was only 
two years old, but as he grew up he often heard the story as it was 
repeated in Cuzco. 

It seemed that the Spanish Government was sending out Vaca 
de Castro to pass judgment upon Almagro's death. Should the 
Marquis be dead at the time of Castro's arrival, Castro was to 
succeed him as Governor, but if the Marquis was living, then 
Castro was merely to investigate and pass sentence upon Almagro's 
execution. Meanwhile Hernando had been imprisoned at Medina 
del Campo in Spain. 

With the news of Castro's coming, Almagro's followers had 
assembled in Lima to await his arrival, Almagro, the Lad, as 



the Men of Chile called the adored son of their old commander, 
was with them as was also Juan de la Rada who gave to the 
"Lad" all the devotion he had felt for his father. 

These Men of Chile waited in Lima for Castro's arrival, and 
while they waited, they had grown increasingly bitter, looking 
about them and contrasting their own hard poverty with the 
riches of Pizarro and his followers. 

And still Castro did not come to execute justice. 

Finally then, they had determined to kill the Marquis, and to 
seize Peru for themselves. 

They had set Sunday the twenty-sixth of June, and the year 
was 1541. They would kill the Marquis on that day, as he was 
returning from Mass. And on the day before this was to happen, 
what they had plotted was confided by a priest to Picado, secre- 
tary to the Marquis. But the Marquis took the warning lightly, 
and though he agreed not to attend Mass on that day, he made 
no preparations to protect himself. He merely remained at home 
and entertained at midday dinner a large group of friends. 

Everybody was there: the Marquis's half-brother, Martin de 
Alcantara; Francisco de Chaves who had been one of those to 
go on record against Atahualpa's execution; Dr. Juan Velasquez, 
Mayor of Lima; the inspector, Garcia de Salciedo; and the Bishop- 
elect of Quito. All told there'd been present twenty gentlemen 
of Lima. 

The great door of the house stood open and a young page, 
Diego de Vargas, was out in the square. It was he who saw the 
murderers as they came across the square, with Juan de la Rada 
at their head. And Diego had rushed into the house, shouting 
that all the Men of Chile were on their way to kill the Marquis. 

But already they were on the stairs. , . . And there was no time 
to put on armor. 

Some of the guests escaped by die garden, and of those who 
remained, Francisco de Chaves, who defended the door, was 
killed, and Pizarro's brother, Martin, and two boy pages, leaving 
Pizarro fighting ferociously alone. Between them they had killed 
four of the assassins, and wounded four more. 


Then Rada had shouted, "Let us make an end to the tyrant 1" 
Then, at last the Marquis fell, a wound in his throat. 
People said afterward, and the tale came to Cuzco, that the 
Marquis had dipped a finger in the blood which gushed from 
his throat, and that with it he had traced the sign of the Cross 
on the floor, and that the last word he had spoken had been the 
word "Jesus." This had happened in the instant before one of 
the assassins had taken a heavy jar of water which stood in the 
room, and hurled it at the head of the Marquis, and killed him. 

So he had gone. . . . 

And after the murderers had left the house, crying, "The tyrant 
is dead!" a man who served the Marquis, a man from ids own. 
town in Estremadura, took the body from the floor and dressed 
it in the habit of Santiago and wrapped it in a sheeet and, with 
the aid of his wife and some negro servants, buried it in the 
church which was called "Los Naranjos." 

For fear that they also would be murdered no one else had 
dared come near the body. 

And venerable Cuzco added this story of Francisco Pizarro's 
death to its memory of his arrogant entrance into the sacred city 
seven years before. 

Pedro Pizarro, looking back upon the tragedy, laments: "It 
was Picado [one of the men from Guatemala], who was the 
cause of the hatred which the Men of Chile had for the Marquis, 
and for which they killed him; for Picado desired that everyone 
should reverence him, and those of Chile took little heed of him, 
and, for this reason Picado had persecuted them. . . . And this 
Picado, the secretary of the Marquis, did much harm to many 
men, for the Marquis, not knowing how to read or how to write, 
trusted in him, and only did those things which he advised- * . . 
And the friends of Picado got the best of everything, taking it 
away from the Conquerors." 

Pedro has forgotten that when he wrote of life in the barracks 


A man o the Sierra 


at Cajamarca, he recorded the quarrels between Almagro and 
the Pizarros, saying that he wished to make clear what was the 
beginning of those troubles which were to cost the lives of more 
than two thousand Spaniards, and the violent death of the Con- 
querors, Diego de Almagro and Francisco Pizarro. 

And he forgets, too, that he had given the cruel murder of 
the Indian girl who had so greatly loved Manco as the reason 
that "Our Lord punished the Marquis in the end that was 
his. . . . 

And, strangely, Pedro fails to remember that, though Pizarro's 
greed and cruelty were great (and which among the Conquerors 
was innocent of cruelty and avarice, conquest inevitably involv- 
ing those qualities?), yet there remained to Francisco Pizarro, 
over and above his supreme courage, one other virtue, one deep 

He had been treacherous in his dealings with Almagro and 
with Atahualpa, he had tortured Indians to obtain information, 
he had burned his enemies at the stake, and there was the fate 
of that Indian girl who had greatly loved the Inca, Manco. And 
to all this cruelty he had, on occasion, added hypocrisy, mourning 
in his black hat for Atahualpa, deeply regretting the execution 
of Almagro which he might have prevented. It is probable that 
he had an affection for his children, but that is often no more 
than an expression of a powerful ego. Certainly he did not marry 
their mother, though in his own mother, he had had opportunity 
to understand what that might mean to a woman. 

In this hard, self-centered man, there appears only one warm, 
human emotion, undeniably sincere and unselfish his family 
feeling, especially his feeling for his brothers. Hernando, Gonzalo, 
Juan and Martin de Alcantara he had given them their op- 
portunity, from the beginning he had shared with them the rich 
rewards of the Conquest, and always their safety had come 
before everything. Hernando's pugnacious temper had made 
endless trouble. Perhaps, but for Hernando, there might not have 
been so bitter an animosity between himself and Almagro, Yet 
Pizarro seems never to have lost patience with Hernando. , 



But this loyal family devotion is never mentioned by Pedro, 
the young cousin whom Pizarro brought out with him as page; 
not even in those passages where he attempts to justify Pizarro, 
or in his estimate of the man: "A very Christian gentleman, zealous 

in the service of his King, honest in the keeping of his word ** 

But no mention of the one unequivocal loyalty, the one generosity. 

"Demon of the Andes" 

Of all the extraordinary men whom Cuzco has known, none 
was more amazing than old Carbajal Francisco de Carbajal. Car- 
bajal was so hugely fat that the credulous believed that he could not 
have traveled as he did up and down the Andes had not a familiar 
spirit transported him by air. They considered him, therefore 
not a mortal being, but a supernatural creature, which had for 
reasons of its own assumed the vast shape which appeared as 
Francisco de Carbajal. And because this incarnated spirit did 
much evil, Carbajal came to be known as the "Demon of the 

Old Carbajal had been born in Spain, and was a man grown 
when Columbus discovered America. He had done military 
service under some of Spain's most distinguished Captains and 
had fought in many famous battles. He had been at the sacking 
of Rome in 1527, and with the ransom of certain papers which 
he took at that time, he had migrated to Mexico with his wife, 
a lady of the Portuguese aristocracy. In himself he combined the 
stoic valor of Estremadura with the pungent wit of Andalusia. 
Some said that his wit was so keen that it was "quite a pleasure 
to be hanged by him." 

At the time of the long siege when Carbajal came to Peru with 
the forces from Mexico, he was nearly seventy years old. 

And he had stayed on in Peru. After Pizarro's assassination he 
supported the new Governor, Vaca de Castro, in resisting the 
men who had joined Almagro, the Lad, in his fight to inherit 
his father's territory, a matter which had been decided at the battle 
of Chupas, when after his defeat the Lad had been captured and 



executed in the plaza of Cuzco; and at his own request buried 
beneath the bones of his father in the Church of Our Lady of 

In fact it had been Old Carbajal who had inspired the victorious 
troops which defeated the Lad at Chupas. 

In the crisis of the combat a cannon volley had cut a swath in 
Castro's army, and Carbajal had thrown himself into the gap, 
shouting that Nature had made him the biggest target of all. 
And because he had cast off his shield and his morion and fought 
unprotected like the common soldier every man had done his 
utmost to be worthy of so gallant a leader, 

Carbajal, then past seventy! 

When victory was won Carbajal would have liked to enjoy a 
prosperous peace. But back in Spain something had been hap- 

Bartholome de Las Casas, the saintly Dominican priest of 
Guatemala, had published his famous book demanding humanity 
and justice for the Indians of the Spanish possessions in America. 
Laws had been formulated which Charles V had signed, and 
was sending out by the hand of the man who was the first of 
Peru's Viceroys Blasco Nunez Vela. 

Nunez came determined to enforce the Laws. If any thought 
he would be influenced by the greed of those who opposed the 
statutes, "let them not be surprised if he beheaded them as traitors/' 
For he would carry out the King's orders if it cost him his life. 

And Carbajal, shrewdly foreseeing the tumult that was to be, 
exerted himself to leave Peru with his highborn wife before the 
calamity which he knew impended. 

For the New Laws declared that upon the death of those to 
whom grants of Indians had been made, the Indians were to 
become vassals of the Crown, and not to be inherited by the 
descendants of Conquerors to whom they had been awarded. 
The laws further proclaimed that all who had fought, on either 
side, in the disputes between the Pizarros and Almagro were to 
be immediately deprived of their Indians, as were also the bishops 



and the monasteries and the officials. And as if that were not 
enough, no Indians could be compelled to carry loads without 
pay, to work in the mines or in the pearl fisheries, or forced to 
perform personal service of any sort. 

Carbajal understood well the disturbances that were to follow 
the proclamation of such laws. And he would leave Peru. But 
in the crisis no ships were allowed to sail. 

Meanwhile Gonzalo Pizarro, broken by his experiences in the 
jungle wilderness of the Great River, arrived in Quito, and learned 
of the assassination of his brother. 

He had had an impulse to demand for himself the governorship, 
but he had been wisely persuaded to retire to his rich territory 
where he had set about operating the silver mines of PotosL 

And then he received letters which contained copies of the 
New Laws. And from all parts of the land appeals came urging 
him to lead a resistance against their enforcement; a thing which 
they said it was proper he should do, since of the Pizarros who had 
discovered the kingdom, only he was left in Peru. And there 
were those who reported that the Viceroy had said it was not right 
that Peru should remain in the power of "pig-drivers and mule- 
teers." Some hinted that the Viceroy had it in mind not only to 
confiscate all Gonzalo's property but also to behead him. 

These things aroused panic in Gonzalo and he determined to 
go to Cuzco and assemble forces against the Viceroy. And he 
began again to say that it would have been only just to have 
appointed him Governor on his brother's death; in return for 
all his services it was the least that should have been done. 

From every province of Peru pleas came to the Viceroy, im- 
ploring him to postpone the proclamation of the laws until the 
case could be placed before His Majesty, who must be informed 
that men would die rather than give up their grants of Indians. 

And the Viceroy promised that he would delay. 

Gonzalo had immediately written to Old Carbajal at Arequipa 
where he had gone in the hope that there he might arrange 
his departure from Peru. Gonzalo urged Carbajal to join his 



forces, but not until the old Demon realized that it was impossible 
to leave the country did he consent. When he finally accepted 
he said, "Ah, I am like a cat that has been so teased and ill- 
treated that at last it turns to scratch its own master. . . . Anyway, 
if His Majesty has sent such Laws it is a decent thing to oppose 

When news came to the Viceroy in Lima that Gonzalo was 
preparing for battle, Cieza says that the Viceroy "struck his fore- 
head with his hand, exclaiming: 'Is it possible that the great 
Emperor, our Lord, who is feared in all the provinces of Europe, 
and to whom the Turk, master of the East, dare not show him- 
self hostile, should be disobeyed here by a bastard who refuses 
to comply with his Laws?"* 

And he ordered that any who spoke well of Gonzalo should 
be given a hundred lashes. 

Then, in indignation, ignoring his promise to delay, he had the 
New Laws proclaimed by the common crier in the streets of 

And when the citizens heard, "they were gready agitated, 
saying to one another: 'How can a Prince so very Christian as 
His Majesty seek to destroy us, when we have acquired this 
land at the cost of the death of so many of our comrades ?' " 

And very many soldiers joined Gonzalo. 

Cieza has been telling the story of this struggle between Pizarro 
and the Viceroy Nunez, but there comes a point when suddenly 
he interrupts the narrative: 

"The blessed Gregory," he writes, "says that a great reward 
cannot be determined without great labor, great knowledge, 
long vigils. . . . And in putting my hand to a work so dif- 
ficult as this ... in no way can I avoid passing these long 
vigils to make sure that the stories agree one with another. . . . 
I have felt that my weak judgment is insufficient to decide 
such great questions, insomuch that I have thought I must 



bring my narrative to an end, . . . However, the hold I have 
taken of it gives me courage to proceed onward" 

Thus Cieza, taking fresh heart, continues. He tells among 
other things, that after having murdered a man he suspected of 
treason, Viceroy Nunez had felt it prudent to leave Lima, 

And then Cieza's story of Gonzalo comes abruptly to an end. 
Yet it is known that when all loyal officers were called on to come 
to the aid of the royal forces in Peru, Cieza was one of those who 
had hastened south to join the army marching against Gonzalo, It 
is known that he was an eye-witness of the tragic end of the 

But he leaves to others the description of the Viceroy's departure 
from Lima, and the account of Gonzalo's subsequent entrance as 
Governor, supremely looking the Conqueror's part, plumes in his 
helmet, a richly embroidered tunic over his armor, and a mantle 
of cloth of gold, while Old Carbajal proceeded to hang any that 
seemed to him unfriendly. 

News had then come that the Viceroy had landed at Tumbez, 
and Gonzalo, with Carbajal, set off in pursuit. And there was a 
battle in which the Viceroy was killed. 

Gonzalo now held the power, but could he maintain it without 
the royal sanction ? In his uncertainty, he considered sending a 
mission to present his claims to His Majesty. And out of the 
wisdom of his years Carbajal warned and advised: 

Because of the death of the Viceroy, Carbajal predicted that 
Gonzalo could not hope for pardon. 

Make yourself a king, he advised. Marry an Inca princess. In 
that way win the Indian support. Flatter the Spaniards by creat- 
ing them dukes and counts and marquises and officials. Grant 
them Indians, but make laws to improve the conditions of their 
servitude- Thus win the combined support of Spaniards and 

But Gonzalo let the moment pass. And already a new envoy 
was on his way from Spain. This time it was the priest Gasca, 
an Inquisitor, ugly and deformed, astute and wily. He brought 



with him revocation of the New Laws and pardon for those who 
had resisted them. And with that news men began everywhere to 
desert Gonzalo. 

But when Gonzalo retired to Cuzco he had still a following 
in the city. 

There was, however, a certain Seiiora Maria Calderon who said 
that in her opinion Gonzalo was a tyrant. This Seiiora was, as it 
chanced, an old friend of Carbajal. They had in fact stood as 
godparents to the same child, a relationship held to be so intimate 
a bond such sponsors were in the habit of addressing each other 
as Compadre and Comadre. 

Carbajal, learning that Maria Calderon had spoken unfavorably 
of Gonzalo, warned her: "Comadrc, if you do not stop this abuse, 
you'll have to be killed." 

But the Sefiora went on as before. 

Carbajal then came saying: "My Comadre, I am here to hang 

But the Seiiora merely laughed. Her witty old friend was, 
of course, jesting. 

Then when the unhappy Senora's body dangled lifeless from 
a window, Carbajal said to it: "My dear little Comadre, if you 
do not profit by this warning, I do not know what I shall do." 

Thus ruthlessly everywhere Carbajal disposed of Gonzalo's 
enemies, but eventually he had to concede that hope for Gonzalo's 
victory was futile. Strong support had gathered about the canny 
priest, Gasca, who was marching against Cuzco. But Gonzalo 
would not let himself know that now only retreat was left. 

Gonzalo would still fight. The Pizarros were all used to 
victory against frightful odds. That was how Peru had been won. 
Yes, Gonzalo would fight. 

On that plain of Sacsahuaman where blood had so often stained 
the earth, he threw what remained of his army against the forces 
of Gasca. And fighting with Gasca there were Pedro Pizarro and 
Cicza de Leon., both then sturdy, hardened young soldiers in their 
early thirties. 

Now for the first time Pizarro was opposed to Pizarro. 



And Gonzalo had not so much as a chance, for in panic his 
soldiers were deserting on all sides. Tradition says that in this 
hour, Carbajal, watching the desertions, hummed over and over 
to himself the refrain of an odd, old song: 

"These, my little hairs, Mother, 
One by one, the wind blows away/' 

Then, as the army vanished before his eyes, he spurred on his 
horse, and under his prodigious weight the exhausted animal 
struggled forward ... but finally collapsed. And Carbajal was 
captured. . . . 

A court-martial condemned to death both Carbajal and Gonzalo. 

And Pedro's comment is that his cousin Gonzalo "had some 
good opportunities to yield himself to His Majesty but with his 
small intelligence, he did not do so." 

So it happened that Gonzalo was beheaded . * . going to his 
death richly dressed, as became a conquering Pizarro. 

And Cuzco remembers that his body lies in the Church of Our 
Lady of Mercy. ... "A man," Pedro says, "of a fine beard and a 
good countenance." 

As for the Demon, he died as he had lived. 

When the lengthy sentence enumerating his crimes was read, 
he interrupted to say: "Is it not enough to be killed?" And 
when they put him into a pannier drawn by two mules, in order 
to drag him to the scaffold, he exclaimed, "Ah, the baby in a 
cradle, and the old man, too, in a cradle!" Then as men crowded 
about to see him die, he commanded: "Gentlemen, gentlemen, 
permit justice to be executed!" 

So Carbajal died, and he was eighty-one years old. "It was 
a thing," Pedro says, "that I did not wish to see. . . ." 

The Christening 

Twenty-two years after all this happened, Viceroy Don Fran- 


A redoubt of the fortress of Sacsahuaman 


cisco de Toledo came to Cuzco. Cieza had gone back to 
Spain, published parts of his series of works on the New World, 
and died. Hernando Pizarro had spent twenty years imprisoned 
in the castle of La Mota at Medina del Campo. During that time 
he had been permitted to marry, and his wife was daughter to 
his brother the Marquis by the Indian Princess, Inez. Hernando's 
niece had borne him children, and finally he had been liberated 
and returned to his native town in Estremadura where he had 
built an imposing home which he called "The House of the 
Conquest." And at the time of Viceroy Toledo's visit to Cuzco, 
Hernando still lived, though he was well past ^ninety. 

Pedro had married the daughter of a fellow-conqueror and 
settled down in Arequipa. In the month of Toledo's visit, he was 
completing the writing of his Relation of the Discovery and Con- 
quest of the Kingdoms of Peru. 

Back in his refuge in the Andes, the Inca Manco had received 
fugitives from the followers of Almagro, the Lad, fleeing from 
punishment at the hands of the victorious Castro: and eventually 
Manco was murdered by these men to whom he had granted 
hospitality. Of the three sons who survived him, the eldest was 
persuaded to exchange his fugitive sovereignty for a pension from 
the Spaniards, and an establishment in the Valley of Yucay, where 
in a brief time he died of melancholy. The second and the third 
of Manco's sons Cusi Titu and Tupac Amaru remained in 
their mountain fastnesses. 

In Cuzco, Manco's brother, Paullu, who had from the beginning 
allied himself with the Spaniards, lived until his death in the 
beautiful palace of Colcampata, overlooking the city of Cuzco. 
Paullu left a son, Don Carlos, who married a Spanish woman, and 
at the time of Toledo's visit to Cuzco they were about to celebrate 
the christening of their son, Melchior Carlos. 

Toledo had come in pomp to Peru, with enough officials in his 
train to set up court in Lima. He planned to live in grandiose style 
and brought a quantity of magnificent furnishings for his palace. 
He had spent a year, settling himself in Lima, and establishing 



there the Holy Inquisition, and then he set forth for Cuzco, 
arriving in time for the christening of the baby, Melchior Carlos, 
whose mother was Spanish and his father of the royal family 
of the Inca. The Viceroy himself had consented to be one of 
the child's sponsors. 

It seemed as though this were to be a very great day, the first 
occasion when Spaniard and Indian had united in a happy national 
festival. It was almost like a return of that departed time when 
men believed Cuzco to be the navel of the world. For Indian 
chiefs those who had survived the Conquest came from the 
north and the south, the east and the west. It was said that even 
Manco's sons Cusi, now reverenced as Inca by his people, and 
with him, his younger brother, Tupac had come in disguise, 
leaving the safety of their Andean refuge to do honor to this baby 
who was of their blood. 

The christening was held in the little church of San Cristobal, 
on the terrace just outside the palace of Colcampata. Against the 
brilliant color of the Indian dress, the Viceroy Toledo was a somber 
figure; tall, and elderly, with shoulders that stooped, a face sallow 
and morose with a high naked forehead, sharp, hard, black eyes, 
a black pointed beard and upturned mustaches. He was dressed 
in black, a high-crowned, narrow-brimmed black hat, a suit of 
black velvet; unrelieved except for the red cross of Santiago 
embroidered on his cloak, and the glint of his sword. A sinister 
figure in the festival rejoicing. 

As in the time of the Empire, the feasting and merriment had 
lasted for several days and then quiedy Cusi and Tupac had 
disappeared to return in secret to the mountains. 

There, Cusi had had for some months living with him an Augus- 
tinian monk and a half-caste interpreter. After his return from the 
christening Cusi fell ill and was treated by the monk, but dis- 
astrously he died, leaving the Indians convinced that his death was 
the result of the friar's medicines, and the Indians cruelly murdered 
both the monk and the interpreter. 

Then they sought Tupac, the young brother, and made him 
their Lori 



But none of all this was known to Toledo, who sent another 
messenger to Cusi, commanding him to come to Cuzco to swear 
fealty to the King of Spain. And along the way, Indians murdered 
Toledo's messenger. 

When that news was carried to the grim Toledo, he had the 
pretext for which he had been waiting, and he sent an expedition 
against the new Inca, the youth, Tupac Amaru, and captured 
him with his chiefs and with many others of his people. And 
Tupac was sentenced to be beheaded, after baptism into the 
Catholic Church. 

Cuzco remembers well the scaffold set up in the Holy Square 
where so much had happened. It remembers Tupac, dressed in 
white, a crucifix in his hand, entering the square riding on a 
mule with a priest walking on either side of him. 

And how can Cuzco ever forget the cry of anguished horror 
that went up from the great crowd gathered there, when they 
saw the executioner raise his knife! And it must remember al- 
ways that startled silence when Tupac lifted his hand and began 
to speak. 

He told his people that his race was run, and he reproached 
himself, saying that this death was punishment for an act of 
disobedience to his mother. 

The priests had interrupted to insist that his death was by the 
will of God. 

Tupac prayed then pardon for what he had said. And his 
innocence was so touching that the execution was delayed while 
Priors of all Religious Orders and the Bishop of Popayan himself, 
went to the Viceroy and fell on their knees begging mercy for 
this young Inca* 

But there was in Viceroy Toledo no mercy. 

And when Tupac's head fell, once more that unforgettable cry 
of heartbreak rose from the crowded plaza. 

Then the Viceroy commanded Tupac's head to be set up beside 
the scaffold, while in the Cathedral priests, defying Toledo's dis- 
pleasure, interred the body with all solemnity. 

And in the dark of night, Indians crept to the plaza to worship 



the head of their last sovereign. They came so quietly that the 
thing was not known until one night a certain Spaniard, rising 
in the night, happened to look out of his window, and in the 
shining moonlight he saw that the whole square was crowded 
with kneeling Indians, their eyes fixed in adoration upon their 
Inca's head. 

When Toledo was told of this he had the head buried with 
the body. And again the priests performed a solemn service 
in Tupac's honor. 

Looking back upon this thing which Cuzco may never forget, 
the words of Cieza de Leon young Spanish soldier of the long 
ago echo in that remembering square: 

"We must beseech God to give us grace to enable us to 
repay in some measure those people to whom we owe so much, 
and who had given such slight offence to justify the injury we 
have done them." 



WHEN I woke in the morning after my arrival in Cuzco, I knew 
at once just what I would do first. 

"Juan," I said to the room-boy, as I sipped my cafecita, "Juan, 
I want to go to the Church of Santa Ana." 

He seemed surprised. "Not to the fortress ?" he reasoned. "Or 
to the Temple of the Sun? Or the Cathedral?" 

"No, to the Church of Santa Ana." 

But Santa Ana was only a poor little church, he explained: the 
church of the Indians really. Hardly anybody asked to go to 
Santa Ana. Juan himself had a certain admixture of Spanish 
blood, and spoke distantly of Indians, Santa Ana was the church 
of Indians really. . 

But I knew that it contained a series of murals done in Cuzco 
by an artist of the sixteenth century, who, in painting a religious 
fiesta, had portrayed also Cuzco and its people, both Indian and 
Spanish, as they were in that faraway day. 

The Church of Santa Ana is on the northern margin of the 
city, and my hotel on its southern edge, so that in going to the 
church it is necessary to pass through the town. 

Juan elected himself my companion, pointing out along the 
way what he considered of interest, not realizing how unnecessary 
that was, for it was all as familiar to me as though I were returning 
to a place long and intimately known; in some ways actually 
better known to me than to Juan himself, for I was seeing, not 
only the present Cuzco, but Cuzco as it had been before the 
Spaniards had destroyed (wholly or partly) its palaces and temples, 
erecting often on the ancient foundations their own buildings: 
for example perching the church and monastery of Santo Domingo 
upon the walls of the Temple of the Sun. 



In fact, on our way to the Santa Ana, I saw really three Cuzcos. 
There was the Cuzco of the Inca Empire, the Cuzco of the colonial 
period, and the present-day city, where to the past there have been 
added electric light and telephone wires, and a few automobiles. 

The Church of Santa Ana looks across a deep gaping ravine, 
to the hill of the fortress of Sacsahuaman. Through the ravine 
there runs the road by which the Spanish Conquerors entered 
Cuzco when they came triumphant after the execution of the 
Inca, Atahualpa. By that road, too, Cusi and Tupac had come 
to the christening of the baby, Melchior. And over the same road 
Tupac had been brought, a captive, to be beheaded in the great 

Another highway passes directly in front of the church, and 
along it Indians continually come and go on their way to the 
Cuzco market, men, women and children, with their beasts, mules 
and burros and strings of llamas. 

From the slope on which it stands the church looks down upon 
the city, and widely out across the hills to ranges, blue with distance. 
And ascending the mountains are roads, leading to what in the 
old days were the four provinces; roads which you might follow 
northwest to Quito, northeast to the jungle country of the Amazon, 
southwest to the coast, or southeast to Lake Titicaca and Bolivia. 

The church itself gives the impression of gradually sinking 
with age into the earth. At a little distance from its entrance 
there is a square squatty tower of adobe, roofed with faded terra- 
cotta tiles. And four ancient bells hang in this tower. 

We found the church closed, and Juan went seeking someone 
to open it, while I sat on the doorstep and watched the stream of 
Indians, full-skirted women and poncho-clad men, repeating in 
varied combination strong shades of red and blue. 

And then Juan returned with a boy of about fourteen, barefoot, 
upon whose body hung patched and faded garments; a half-breed 
like Juan himself, though, unlike Juan, he was almost wholly 

The boy fitted a great key into the lock and pushed open the 
antique doors. 



Within, the church appears of even greater age than from 
without. Its sagging floor has been worn by many feet. The 
heavy beams of its ceiling are dark. There is a very old pulpit in 
black and gold, and carved confessionals of a dull red. It all 
appears as much out of a vanished past as a spinning wheel standing 
cobwebby in a dusty attic. And the murals I had come to see, 
they, too, were out of the past. 

The sun, within that little church, seemed a stranger, and my 
eyes adjusted themselves slowly to the dim light, but gradually 
the pigment of the old canvases glowed in mellow color. 

On an impulse I turned suddenly to the ragged youth who had 
opened the church: "Tell me about the pictures," I said, desiring 
to see them through the eyes of this boy in whom the Indian strain 
was so slightly diluted by the Spanish. "Tell me about the 

The boy looked bewildered. Perhaps he had never before 
thought about them. He was accustomed to do no more than lock 
and unlock the door on those infrequent occasions when that serv- 
ice was required. Certainly, I am persuaded, no one had ever be- 
fore asked him to describe the paintings. 

Juan had remained outside to gossip with passers-by, so that the 
boy and I were alone in the dim old church, with no audience 
to make him shy, once he had accepted the eccentric Senora, who, 
it appeared, could not observe pictures for herself, but must 
have them explained. 

Then, with that gentle docility which made the Peruvian Indian 
submissive clay under the shaping hand of Inca rule, he attempted 
to gratify my wish. 

He gazed for some minutes at the mural before which we stood, 
and then he spoke slowly, in a very careful Spanish, as though 
while he talked he was translating his native Quechua into the 
tongue of the Conquerors. And he spoke with the simple natural 
dignity of the Indian, wholly unself conscious, thinking, as it were, 

"It is a procession of Corpus Christi," he said. "There are monks 
with a tall cross, and there are priests." 



"Yes," I encouraged, while I noted the full stiff silk gowns of the 
priests, elaborately embroidered and ornate with lace. "Yes?" 

"And there are Indians. ... An Indian Princess who is old. 
She has a white turban on her head. Her mantle is fastened with 
a pin of gold ... her ring is also of gold. The mantle is red and 
black, embroidered in gold." 

"Her face?" I suggested. 

"Her face is round. The skin is a little brown. She has eyes 
looking up ... and sad also. Her eyes are full of wonder. " 
(As he talked I was jotting down the hoy's exact words, of which 
this is a literal translation.) 

"Eyes sad and full of wonder . . . watching the procession of 
Corpus Christi." 

The boy seemed to be living now in the picture and scarcely 
aware of me. 

"The old Princess has her little grandson beside her. His face 
is round also, but it is not so sad." 

We passed thus from picture to picture, pausing before each 
while the boy put into words what he saw. 

"And here is a Spanish family. A Spaniard with a hat, large 
and black . . . and a beard also black and long hair. . . . His 
eyes a little angry are his eyes. Next to the Spaniard is an 
Indian girl with long hair, very long. Her face is round, of a 
brown color, but not so brown as the face of the old Princess. 
She is young jovcncita. I think she is the daughter of 'the old 
Princess ... but her eyes are happier. . . . 

"And here is the image of San Crist6bal in procession. It is 
a fiesta. There are many people in the windows and on the 
balconies. Banners are hanging from the balconies . . . blue, 
green, red, rose-color. Many Spaniards on the balconies, and in 
the street Indians . . . barefoot . . . some of them are carrying 
silver candelabra and candles." 

We passed on to the next picture. 

"Priests of La Merced . . . with the Virgin of La Merced in 
procession. ... A grand fiesta . . . many Indians. Mantles of 
rose-color, embroidered with blue, bright blue and bordered with 




dark blue. And there is the Cathedral and the Temple of Jestis 
Maria, And priests in gold embroidered robes. There's a red 
canopy. . . . And behind all these things there are the moun- 
tains. . . . 

"And this shows the procession of the Virgin of Bel&i. She is 
riding in a four-wheeled cart of gold and silver. Sacristans are 
following with silver candelabra. Ahead there is walking a 
Spaniard with an Indian. The Spaniard wears a long black cape. 
He has very big white sleeves with lace, and a big black hat. The 
Indian wears a red turban and a tunic of many colors. He carries 
a red banner in one hand and a wand in the other. There are 
people in the cart with the image. They are playing on cornets 
and a harp. And all the windows arc full of people who watch 
the Virgin pass. The Indian with the banner has an expression 
very intelligent . . ." 

So the sixteenth century in Cuzco moves in procession on the 
walls of the ancient little Church of Santa Ana. It is the late 
sixteenth century, because there has been time since the Conquest 
to build churches and many houses in the style of Spain, with 
carved Moorish balconies. Spanish families live in the houses, 
and many monks and priests even a few nuns have arrived 
in Cuzco. While among the Indians, some still survive of the 
nobility, and the Spaniards are still recognizing certain chiefs, 
with the hope of controlling the Indians through a few of the 
former leaders. And the pageantry of Catholicism has been 
superimposed upon the old worship of the Sun. Catholic fiestas 
have taken the place of aboriginal festivals. There has been time, 
too, for a new race to be born in Peru, a race whose skin is less 
brown, whose eyes are not quite so sad as those of the old 
Princess of the picture, who had actually herself seen the Conquest. 

The murals were perhaps done at the time when Garcilaso de 
la Vega was growing up in Cuzco, and there was a school for 
the education of youths born of Conquistadores and Inca 
Princesses. But that was before sinister Viceroy Toledo took 
measures to exterminate all possible members of Inca aristocracy, 



and accordingly banished from the land many of the young half- 
caste nobility. 

On returning from my visit to the Church of Santa Ana, I 
settled down to what was to be my life in the weeks that I spent 
in Cuzco. I was established in the Hotel Ferrocarril, which is in 
the section called in the days of the old Empire, "the tail of the 
Puma," at the southern extremity of what may be considered the 
city. The hotel and railway station are, as I have said, practically 
one and the same. On certain days in the week the express up 
from the coast arrives at Cuzco at the end of the line. On certain 
other days it returns by the way it has come, down to Mollendo, 
thirty-six hours distant. On other days there may be a freight 
train, and once a week there is a local. 

With the arrival and departures of the passenger trains the 
station swarms with Indians, diluted with cholos and Peruvians 
of Spanish blood. There are soldiers, policemen, priests and 
friars, as well as a motley mass of women, children, babies and 
dogs, and upon special occasions a very brass band. In the hours 
between trains the station is deserted, with scarcely a sound but the 
sputtering tick coming over the wires into the telegraph office. 

For some time the hotel had but one other guest in addition to 
myself. He was a pale, ill young Dutchman, a permanent res- 
ident, not a pasajero, as Juan called those of us who were visitors. 
In a dining-room full of vacant tables, laid out as though expecting 
many customers, the Dutchman and I had our meals at adjoining 
tables. The room was so quiet that knives, forks and spoons 
seemed to clatter nervously against the china. Always on enter- 
ing and leaving the room the Dutchman made a stiffly correct 
little bow, like the bow of a marionette whose bowing-string has 
been suddenly jerked. 

Finally, after some days I decided to break the monstrous silence 
in either English or Spanish, 

"Do you speak English ?" I asked. 

"Of course." 

After that the knives and forks and spoons resumed the 



subordinate place which should be theirs, while the Dutchman 
and I exchanged impressions. 

He had come to Peru to make a living, and had not found it 
so easy as the large talk of a friend had implied. He had had a 
disillusioning experience on one of the great cattle estancias, and 
was now living in Cuzco, dangling before his own eyes the 
hope that at any moment one of his various schemes would come 

Ill luck had made him cynical but he had a sense of humor 
which salted the cynicism, and he was a companionable someone 
with whom to talk at dinner, and with whom to hang out of the 
window and watch the train come in. It was the custom for 
everyone in the hotel and the station to hurry excitedly to see 
the train. 

Everyone was swept into the excitement the station master 
Senor Fuentes, the administrator of the hotel, the hotel cook, 
the dining-room boy, Juan the room-boy, Juanito the room-boy's 
son, such citizens of Cuzco as were at leisure, the pale Dutchman 
and I. ... 

Juan and his Juanito undauntedly expected the sort of pas- 
sengers who would put up at the hotel As for me, I watched 
the train, partly because the station-life was really something to 
watch, and also because the train fed my hope that it brought me 
a letter from Roberto. My last news from him had been a 
cable to Arequipa saying that his departure from New York was 
delayed, but that he planned to reach Cuzco on Christmas night. 
And of course I was anxious lest his coming should be again 
postponed. I was especially anxious because I was putting off 
until his arrival a visit to the extraordinary, long-forgotten city of 
Machu Picchu. And since this city stands upon a steep mountain- 
ridge around whose base sweeps a swift turbulent river, it is 
not possible to reach it after heavy rains have swollen the river, 
perhaps washed away the bridge, and converted the trail into a 
mud-flow. Each day was now making the ascent to the ridge 
uncertain, for the rains had already begun. And Machu Picchu 
was an essential part of my trip to Peru, because it happened to 



be identified with the destiny of the Tito and Salla of my novel. 
I must not delay Machu Picchu until it was too late. So in a tense 
suspense I waited for news of Roberto's coming. 

But the trains brought no letters, though I had given explicit 
forwarding directions both in Lima and Arequipa. 

Also this being out-of-season for Cuzco, the train brought no 
passengers to fill hotel rooms, and Juanito, therefore, had time to 
wander with me about Cuzco. 

And as little Fernandez of Cajamarca had been the child re- 
incarnation of the Tito of my imagination, so Juanito was Tito 
as he was at the age of fifteen. 

Juanito's mother was apparently pure Indian, for he is in every 
way closer to the aboriginal type than his father. His skin is 
darker than Juan's, and as smoothly flawless as bronze. His 
pretty precise Spanish is that which Tito spoke after his months 
in the Spanish barracks at Cajamarca with Pizarro's soldiers, and 
Juanito's voice has that vibrance which all remarked in Tito. 
And Juanito's gestures duplicate Tito's. I used to say that Tito 
thought with his fluttering hands. And here was Juanito doing 
the same thing. Tito's spirit was reverent in the presence of 
Nature. And when Juanito talked to me of these things, he was 
Tito speaking. There was in his mind, too, the same mystic 
quality; he had the same gift of poetic expression. In knowing 
Juanito I was able to enter further into the mind and soul of Tito, 

But for all this, I did not always take Juanito with me; for there 
were moods in which I would be alone in Cuzco, absorbed back 
into its memories, 

I often sat in the great plaza, which was so long ago the Holy 
Squ^e^ij&e;'I*^ %^zp*0/as it used- sometimes 

to be called The Terrace of the Fringe; fringe being the Inca 
equivalent of a sovereign's crown.\ , And as the Inca was holy, 
so the Plaza of the Fringe was- synonymous with the Holy Square. 

As I sat in this plaza, bright with the yellow blossoms of a 
low shrub and with the twittering song of little Andean white- 
throats, the past was all about me. 

High on the agade of El Triunf o, there is a life-sized figure 



of Saint James on his white charger, commemorating the tradi- 
tion that, at the long siege, he came down from Heaven to bring 
victory to the Spaniards. Next to El Triunfo is the Cathedral 
where priests, defying Viceroy Toledo's anger, held solemn Mass 
for the poor beheaded young Inca, Tupac, who was the last ever 
to be crowned with the royal fringe. 

On the site of the great palace of that Inca who was Atahualpa's 
father, there is Cuzco's University and the Church of La Com- 
pania de Jesus built by the Jesuits before their expulsion, when 
they were a powerful Order. And leading out of the plaza is 
the narrow Incaic street which you may follow past the beautiful 
rose-grey stone walls of the ancient Convent of the Virgins of the 
Sun. And these things stand as witnesses insisting upon the 
truth of what Cuzco remembers. 

In the plaza itself the Spaniards set up the gibbet and the 
scaffold. It was here that Almagro the Elder's body was exposed 
after Hernando had had him strangled in the prison, and here 
that his son, the Lad, was beheaded. This son of the elder 
Almagro was of those born of aboriginal mother and Spaniard, 
the first to distinguish himself in Peru, fighting bravely for what 
he believed to be justly due his father as one of the two leaders of 
the Conquest. 

And it was here, too, that young Tupac rode upon a mule 
to meet the death they had decreed for him; and here that his 
people came in the dark silence to worship his head: here also 
that two hundred years later there was the unspeakable horror 
of yet another execution. . . . 

It was so quiet in this plaza that, sitting there, I was conscious 
of every footfall even of the bare feet of the Indians. It is as 
though Cuzco treads softly, fearful of disturbing the tragic past. 

God, my spirit often cried, can this place never forgetl Four 
centuries ago, but still Toledo is leaning from his balcony watch- 
ing Tupac's young head severed from his body! And I felt that 
still, in the depth of the night his long-dead people gather, 
worshiping his head. 

The plaza's memories seem rarely to go back to the time before 



the Spaniard, when the great festivals of the Children of the 
Sun filled the square with gorgeous glittering robes of iridescent 
feathers and with the color of Inca fabric, while to the music of 
flutes and tambourines, the populace danced, and the mummy- 
bundles of the ancestors were brought out to enjoy the spectacle. 

All that is less real now than the Conquest and what came 
after it. 

In the historic buildings that surround the square there are 
many of Cuzco's treasures. In El Triunfo, there is the wooden 
cross which Valverde, the priest, carried in Cajamarca. The great 
altar of the Cathedral is of lustrous Peruvian silver, the choir- 
stalls are a miracle of carving, in one of the many chapels is 
the life-sized image of Our Lord of the Earthquakes, and in the 
sacristy is the silver cart in which on Holy Thursdays this very 
miraculous image goes in procession through the street. In the 
sacristy also are kept the famous jewels of the Cathedral, and 
in one of the towers hangs the bell, "Maria Angola," whose golden 
tone may be heard at a great distance. The interior of the Com- 
pania is richly ornate with gold and carving, and among its 
pictures are paintings of the wedding of the Inca Princess, Beatriz, 
to a nephew of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The Princess Beatriz 
was the daughter of the eldest of the Inca Manco's sons. It was 
she whom the Spaniards sent to persuade her father to ex- 
change his sovereignty for a pension and a palace in the valley 
of Yucay, where so soon afterward he died of the sadness in his 
soul. And in the Church and Monastery of Santo Domingo, just 
a little distance from the plaza, there are many ecclesiastical 
treasures, but they fade in importance beside the fact that this 
building stands upon the beautiful stone walls of the Inca Temple 
of the Sun, and that within the Monastery are the Inca chambers 
sacred to the Sun and the Moon pagan chapels of that stone 
workmanship which has immortalized the Peru of the ancients. 
Of Santo Domingo's paintings, I remember only that one in which 
the Spanish artist turned from orthodox Catholic subjects, and 
painted the Conquest, with the Inca, Atahualpa, the chief figure 
on his canvas. 



When the Conquerors partitioned among themselves the build- 
ings and the riches and the women of Cuzco, the Temple of the 
Sun fell to the gallant Juan Pizarro who was fatally injured at 
the storming of the fortress. And Juan Pizarro gave the Temple 
to the Order of Santo Domingo. 

Wherever you go in Cuzco, your point of departure is usually 
the central plaza. It was from here that Juanito and I followed 
the steep Incaic street which led us to the Fiesta of the Three 
Kings, which we had been told was to take place in the square 
in front of the Church of San Bias. 

It was Sunday afternoon, and Indians in their colorful best were 
streaming from all directions to San Bias, Teetering on platforms, 
unsteadily borne on men's shoulders, a blue and tinsel Virgin and 
a cherubic Jesus made a circuit of the streets, with banners flying 
and drums beating, while the square jammed with Indians and 
half-breeds, waited their return, when the drama would begin. 

"It is a play of Herod," Juanito said, "and the three kings 
coming to adore the Child" . . . the "Child!" Juanito's voice 
was hushed in reverence when he uttered the word. 

For nearly four hours we stood some thousands of us on that 
afternoon, cold because the sun was wanly veiled with gauzy 
cloud. The performance we watched was a strange compound 
of patriotism, Catholicism and Paganism. On a high platform, 
erected just outside the church, school children, one by one, de- 
livered patriotic discourses to the accompaniment of wooden ges- 
tures. Those who were frightened by the great audience lost their 
voices completely, only the gestures remaining. 

When this speechifying was done, the play began. 

There was the wicked Herod, sending three mounted soldiers 
with orders to seek out and to murder all new-born males, so 
that the "Child, Jesus" would surely not survive. The crowd 
made room for the horsemen to search for Herod's victims, 
and when paper infants were provided to be decapitated by the 
soldiers, the excitement was breathless. But of course the "Child" 
had escaped and, when the decapitating was over, appeared with 



the Virgin on the platform, dressed in white and wearing great 
white wings. 

And now the three kings arrived on horseback, instead of 
camels, each king attended by a page on foot. 

Of the three kings, one represented a Spaniard in the dress of the 
Conquest period, the second was in the garb of an Inca, and the 
third was made up as an Ethiopian. Each king made a lengthy 
oration, lauding the birth of the "Child." Even the pages had 
speeches, the Ethiopian page delighting the audience with clown- 
ish stunts, leaping about in joy that the "Child" was born. 

And this adoration of the Savior was followed by scenes from 
Inca days when in the costume of the Empire, Indians danced 
as in the old days before their Lord. 

When it was over and we returned to the hotel, Juanito told 
me that the fiesta was in honor of the Sun, as well as of the 

In the cold Andean country, how can the cult of the Sun ever 
die! For when the sun has set, or is hidden by cloud, the world 
is altered. Without the sun the mountain chill lays numbing 
hands upon heart and spirit. More than anywhere else in the 
world, in the Andes, the sun is life. 

In the Cuzco market-place it is easy to recall the days of the 
Empire. As Cicza de Leon used to say of the city, the market is 
"full of strangers." You see there the distinctive types of the sur- 
rounding Sierra, with their characteristic head-dress and fashion 
of arranging the hair; you hear Quechua spoken and little Spanish. 
But trade is now conducted through the medium of money where 
formerly it was carried on in the direct barter of goods; so many 
ears of corn for so many potatoes, so many potatoes for so much 
llama meat, or so many peppers. Of course in that time there 
were only Indians in the market, for the new race created out 
of the Conquest had not yet been born. But for all the changes 
that have taken place the llama still holds his own as the Andean 
beast of burden, and no conquest has cowed his haughty manner. 
And still, those virtues which the Inca system bred in its people 



at the sacrifice of freedom of thought and of action, those virtues, 
I think, survive, for you must be everywhere impressed with the 
patience and the industry of the Indian, with his restraint, his 
dignity and his capacity for worship. 

As they sit about the market in groups around the cooking-pot 
enjoying a hot midday stew you feel that they take pleasure in 
companionship, for all their subdued, almost hushed, voices, and 
the look of remoteness in eyes which know the solitude of shep- 
herding flocks on the lonely Puna and the communion with vast 
spaces and high mountains. 

To be exuberant, the Indian requires the copious drinking of 
chicha, just as, to endure toil at lofty altitudes, he fortifies the 
physical body with the chewing of coca-leaves, that herb which, 
as one of the old chroniclers puts it, "any man having these leaves 
in his mouth hath never hunger nor thirst/* 

Reformers insist that coca should be taken from the Andean 
Indians, but I remember the strain of great altitudes upon the 
physical system. Even bodies with a lung capacity and heart 
muscles developed through the centuries in adaptation to altitude 
must to some extent feel that strain. And I remember also the 
hard terms of Indian life, and I think no comfort, however 
dubious, should be removed unless at the same time some im- 
provement in conditions is substituted for it. And the chewing 
of coca is said not to affect the health or the disposition or the 
morals, as alcohol, morphine, or opium do. 

In the Cuzco market, though long ago the Inca aristocracy 
perished under the Conquest, yet today you see occasionally men 
who have about them the regal air to which the hard facts of 
living have added a philosophy, an inner wisdom, and a shrewd- 
ness tempered by humor. Such are, however, the exception, for 
the bitter toil of poverty and the tradition of tragedy has stamped 
a melancholy resignation upon the Andean Indian which makes 
a market scene in the Andes strikingly different from the markets 
of Guatemala. As the civilization of the Inca was a loftier thing 
than that of Guatemala, so the Conquest in Peru has been a more 



enduring calamity. And the descendants of the Children of 
the Sun cannot forget. 

This, their sadness, pervades Cuzco, even the Cuzco of the 
Conquerors. Looking through the imposing doors of establish- 
ments magnificent in that long ago when the wealth of the Indies 
was fabulous, you see interior courtyards surrounded by ornate 
balconies and arched galleries, and beyond the first courtyards 
you may look into others with similar arches and balconies* 
You know that in these houses Spanish grandees, some of whom 
had Inca princesses for wives, once lived in a medieval splendor, 
served by the Indians who had been "granted" them, and that 
silks and velvets and plumes and the fine laces of Flanders were 
at home here. Some of the doors bear a coat-of-arms sculptured 
over the lintel, and all is on a grandiose scale* But most of them 
now have an air of abandonment, with only occasional pots of 
flowers to enliven neglect and poverty where formerly there were 
pride and life. 

Garcilaso de la Vega says that the Cuzco of his boyhood, in the 
years not long after the Conquest, was gay. But that is four hun- 
dred years ago. 

Lima Francisco Pizarro's City of Kings attracted fashion and 
wealth from Cuzco to the gentler climate of the coast, leaving 
Cuzco to remember ... far away in the high Andes. 

One of the roads which ascend the hill to the fortress, passes 
by what remains of the palace of Colcampata, on the terrace 
which, under the Incas, was called "The Terrace of Carnations.'* 
The palace looked down upon the city, then roofed with golden- 
brown thatch. Today the city roofs are of henna-colored tile, 
with only occasionally the hideous intrusion of corrugated iron, 
and all that is left of Colcampata is the beautiful outer wall into 
which are set a row of niches where sentinels were stationed, while, 
within the gardens, there remains but a lovely fragment of the 
palace walls. A caretaker's cottage is close by, and he has planted 
gay flowers to bloom about tie rose-grey ruin, daisies and roses 
and sweetpeas. 



Outside the wall Paullu, that Inca Prince who was from the be- 
ginning friendly to the Spanish, built the little Church of San 
Cristobal to celebrate his conversion to the Catholic faith. It was 
there that Paullu's grandson, the infant Melchior, was baptized 
at that gala christening which had seemed to portend brighter 

But soon Toledo was using the happy palace as a prison for poor 
young Tupac, before having him beheaded. 

On the summit of the hill back of the palace, there is the famous 
fortress of Sacsahuaman, most of it dating back to a mysterious 
people who preceded the Inca. The might of its blue-grey walls 
of cyclopean stones astonishes you, no matter how your reading has 
prepared you to expect it; for the size of the great boulders is 
amazing, and the precise fitting of stone upon stone is an incredible 
achievement. How the stones were transported from, the distant 
quarry without the aid of machinery, and how the cutting was ac- 
complished with only the rudest tools has never been explained. 
The only answers thus far are toil, patience, time, laborers, all 
without limit. 

I saw the fortress first on a sunny morning, when from its 
height the city of Cuzco was brilliant in its setting. A deep Prussian 
blue painted the sky; the foreground mountain-slopes were done in 
brick-red, on which were spread, like lengths of lustrous silk, the 
spring green of fields of potatoes and young wheat and corn, 
still far from maturity. And there was in the air a blue shimmer, 
out of which stood the snows of far, high ranges. At the foot of 
the fortress llamas passed, going in to the Cuzco market, as un- 
changed as though no centuries separated the present from that 
day when the great chief had wrapped his mantle about his head 
and leaped to his precipitous death. 

Yet, it was the present, and not the sixteenth century, for 
chalked in great red letters here and there on the massive boulders 
was the word APRA symbol of the Alianza Popular Revo- 
lucionaria Americana. 

And as we were walking back to the hotel, Juanito talked to me 



of a certain fabulous city, more wonderful, he said, even than 
Machu Picchu. 

Juanito had been himself to Machu Picchu and it could not be 
compared with this city of which he spoke. "It is," he said, "a 
city of great houses and beautiful gardens, and much gold. And 
the strange thing about the city is that there is in it no commerce," 

"But why not?" 

"Because anyone leaving the city is never able to find the way 

'Xet us go some day, Juanito, and look for your city!" 

"Yes, we could do that." 

"Do you think we could find it?" 

"We might find it." 

"Is it near to Cuzco?" 

"Oh, no, it is far." 

"Near to Machu Picchu?" 

"Not near to Machu Picchu either," 

I tried the names of various other cities, and the names of moun- 
tains and rivers. 

"Can it be," I said finally, "near to Madre de Dios?" 

"It is possible that it is near to Madre de Dios." 

"And so we will go one day and look for it?" 

"Yes, we may go. But if ever we come away, we can never 
again find the beautiful city." 

So my days passed in Cuzco, and there was still no word from 
Roberto. Trains arrived with much noise and show, much puff- 
ing and ringing of bells. A swarm of rags would gather to take 
charge of the luggage of possible passengers. Then the crowd 
dispersed, and the locomotive went snorting into its shed. But 
the trains brought no letters. 

I became uneasy, at first about possible rain preventing a trip to 
Machu Picchu. On rainy days I was alarmed for fear that, in my 
anxiety that Roberto should not miss Machu Picchu, I had waited 
too long and that now it would end in neither of us getting there. 
Then when the sun shone, I was in despair for fear all the good 



weather was being used up, and Roberto would have nothing 
but rain, and continuous rain in the Sierra is a dismal hopeless 
business. Each day now there was more rain than on the day 
before, and I always took with me the vast umbrella, which I had 
purchased in Arequipa; for the rains had a trick of coming on 
suddenly, though equally suddenly they would be gone, and sun- 
light would glisten on the tile roof-tops of Cuzco. 

If Roberto was not coming I said to myself I must make the trip 
to Machu Picchu, without delay. 

I decided then to send a telegram inquiring what had happened 
to my mail, and so it came about that I made the acquaintance 
of the telegraph operator, an unshaved and genial person, who at 
once adopted my troubles as his own. 

We then waited. I say "we" because the telegrapher had made 
me feel that it was "we." We waited, but no answer came. And 
a few days before Christmas, I developed a lively sense of disaster. 

I began to believe that something must have happened, and I 
decided to telegraph to a nice British Mr. Paterson in Arequipa, 
asking him to find out if letters had arrived for me. . . . Hours 
passed before there was a reply, and when it came it was in Eng- 
lish, which I had to translate at once in order to relieve the teleg- 
rapher's suspense. 

Mr. Paterson was forwarding a package; so the message said. 

But it was letters that I wanted! Not a package. 

The telegrapher would immediately send another telegram: 
Had letters or a cable arrived? 

But it was now after seven o'clock, and the telegrapher broke it 
gently to me that, since the office in Arequipa closed at eight 
o'clock, I probably could not get a response until the morning. 

I went drearily to my room. Rain was trickling down the 
window pane. And it was cold. Cuzco, you remember, stands 
more than eleven thousand feet above the sea, and it is cold when 
the sun is gone. 

I sat down at the little table in the middle of my room. I was 
convinced that something must have happened to Roberto. And 
I didn't know how to reach him. If he was coining, he would 



already be on his way, flying down from New York to Arequipa. 
If I sent a cable to his office it might not be answered, and then 
I would have added to my reasons for anxiety. Anyway the cable 
could not be sent that night. There was nothing to do, therefore, 
but wait until I heard from Mr. Paterson in the morning. And 
even then, all he could say was that there were or were not letters 
or a cable. 

I despaired. . . . 

There was a knock at the door and the dining-room boy in- 
serted a smiling face: Dinner was ready. 

Oh, I didn't want dinner! Just bring me some hot water and 
whisky. . . . Cuzco was really so far away and anything might 
have happened! 

I put my head down upon the table and wept. 

I wasn't fit to be a woman with her dream of Cuzco come 

Just bring me whisky and hot water. 

Then there was excited pounding on the door: "The reply, 
Senorita! The reply from Meester Paterson." 

And in burst the telegrapher with a message in his hand. In 
English . , . "Meester Paterson" could not, of course, know that the 
telegrapher, too, was in suspense. 

Accordingly I translated: "No cable. Sending letters. But 
they cannot arrive until Wednesday night." 

Actually this told me little, beyond how kind Mr. Paterson was. 
I had letters . . . but I did not know their contents nor from whom 
they had come. Still I was strangely comforted, even if without 
real reason. 

Juanito brought the hot water and whisky, and I went hope- 
fully to sleep. 

And in the morning it was the day before Christmas, and it 
was raining, but under my umbrella I went to see what Cuzco 
did on the day before Christmas, and by the time I reached the 
plaza a heavenly sun was shining. 

I found small booths set up in the plaza, selling all manner of 
figurines, little images of saints, representations in china and 



papier-m&che and clay of the birth of Christ manger, cattle, 
baby and Virgin complete. There were also china animals of 
various sorts and artificial flowers and dolls' furniture and flower- 
pots of dolls' size, and tin automobiles, and very small Japanese 
lanterns, and cakes and candies and buns, and birds in cages, with 
all Cuzco walking about to see, celebrating Christmas in a plaza 
full of yellow flowers. 

When I returned to the hotel Juan's shouts greeted me: "Tele- 
grams! Telegrams! From Meester Paterson and one from Don 
Roberto himself!" 

The telegrapher exuded joy. But, Roberto's telegram being in 
Spanish, he already knew its contents, while what "Meester Pater- 
son** had said was an enigma in English. Therefore I was first 
given the English message that I might translate it for the benefit 
of all 

And Mr. Paterson said: "Mr. Niles arrived this morning. We 
are sending him on by autocarril!' 

Why, by autocarril? I could not guess. But that did not matter. 
None of the misfortunes I had imagined had come to pass: 
Roberto was safe and due to arrive in Cuzco on Christmas night 
at seven o'clock. Now ... if the rains permitted the visit to 
Machu Picchu, I had no more to ask of Fate at the moment. 

Juanito had said that I was not to be uneasy about rain, for 
he would pray to the Sun: he would pray in Quechua, for, he said, 
he felt that the Sun would give more heed to a prayer in Quechua 
than in Spanish. 

The matter of rain being thus arranged, we held a conference- 
telegrapher, Juan, Juanito and I. I had the idea that I'd like to 
surprise Roberto by going down the Line to meet him at some 
station near Cuzco. But the train schedules made that difficult, 
and we concluded that I would take an automobile and drive to 
the little flag-station at Sailla. 

All this is perhaps a trivial memory to record in looking back 
over the centuries in Peru, and yet to me the warm, understanding 
friendliness of the little Hotel Ferrocarril is a thing I shall always 



cherish; a happy experience which belongs in my particular pag- 
eant of Peru. 

On Christmas Eve, the night before Roberto was to arrive, 
Juan and I went to Mass in the Church of La Merced that 
Church of Our Lady of Mercy where Gonzalo Pizarro and the 
Almagros father and son had been buried after their respective 
trials, convictions, confessions and executions. 

Cuzco at night is dimly lighted, and silent. No matter what 
the weather, it is impossible at night to get any sort of cab. Once 
after a dinner party, my host and hostess escorted me all the way 
back to the hotel on foot, in a slow heavy drizzle. To be elegant, 
I had not taken the great Arequipa umbrella, failing to realize that 
the night life of Cuzco's streets is limited to corner policemen in 
thick dark overcoats, and to a few noiseless Indians skulking in 
the shadow of walls, wrapped in their ponchos. 

But on Christmas Eve there were automobiles about, and Juan 
and I rode to Mass. 

The Church of La Merced was so packed with people chiefly 
Indians that it seemed at first as though we could not squeeze 
ourselves in. Each pew was occupied by three times the number 
of people for which it was intended, for there were people kneel- 
ing, people sitting on the seats, and people sitting also on the 
backs of the seats. And yet courtesy somehow made a way for 
Juan and me. 

The old paintings on the walls, the carved woodwork, dark 
with the years, the black garb of those who were not Indians, 
the mellow tint of the faces, all were fused in a picture as richly 
somber as pigments on some ancient canvas, composed with the 
aim of centering attention upon a high altar where tall candles 
blazed and priests in long white robes moved in a ritual centuries 

Somewhere, out of sight in the organ gallery, there was music 
which to my ears seemed to combine the cry of trumpets and the 
dash of cymbals. I felt it to be pagan, Incaic, unrelated to the 
familiar reverberating Latin of the service. 



And looking into the eyes of those Indians who were near me, 
I saw that expression which the boy in the Church of Santa Ana 
had described in the eyes of the Old Princess in the picture 
"eyes full of wonder." 

On Christmas afternoon the automobile we had ordered came 
to drive me to the flag station at Sailla, where I planned to board 
the train which was bringing Roberto. It was raining hard and 
the road a morass. Then, within a few moments after starting, 
it was obvious that not all the crazy lurching of the car was due 
to the condition of the road. The chauffeur, beyond question, had 
been making Christmas cheery with liquor- We careened from 
one side of the road to the other, reeling and skidding and bump- 
ing every mile of the way. 

Then at last there was Sailla. Or to be exact, there was a house, 
though it was securely locked and its occupants off somewhere, 
probably celebrating Christmas. And adjoining the house, was 
an open shed, under which three little Indian girls squatted, each 
over a cooking pot set upon the ground above small smoky fires. 
A few dogs, chickens and guinea hens had come into the shed 
out of the rain. The three diminutive women for Indian children 
are duplicates in dress and manner of their elders paid not the 
slightest attention to our arrival, being exclusively absorbed in 
puffing life into their damp smoldering fires. 

When I ventured to ask them if the train did stop at Sailla, the 
chauffeur said: "Oh, you can't talk to them,, Senorita! They 
don't know any Spanish, only Quechua." 

The chauffeur announced then that he would leave me and 
return to Cuzco. 

But suppose the train should conclude that really it was not 
worth while to stop at that shed where three little Quechuas 
puffed three dismal fires. . . Suppose. . . . 

The chauffeur was firm ... I equally so. 

He, declaring that he must return to Cuzco; I, vowing that I 
would not be left in the shed, for what if the train did not stop ? 
Then, I explained, my husband would arrive unwelcomed at 



Cuzco and I would have to walk all those muddy miles in darkness 
back to the hotel. 

I had allowed more than an hour's margin just in case we were 
stuck in the mire along the way. So that now there was that hour 
to be spent in wrangling about the chauffeur's getting back to 
further carousing in Cuzco. 

Then I saw a little group of people coming across the fields; a 
man, and two young women, one of them carrying a baby in 
her arms. 

It appeared that they had come to take the train in to Cuzco. 

Very well ... the chauffeur might go. If they had faith in the 
train's stopping, then I could have faith too. 

So the car drove away and left us there, and we sat down to- 
gether on a bench to wait. And while we waited the rain ceased, 
the sky was briefly blue, sunset gilded the tops of the close, 
encircling mountains, and night fell. The train was obviously 
going to be late. 

One of my new friends was a student in the University of Cuzco, 
a pretty girl, thoughtful and earnest. We talked about Peru, about 
its troubled history and its possible future. She took its future 
seriously, and with a shining patriotism. 

And then, still far off in the darkness, we saw a great light ap- 
proaching. The light paused and then came on again. "It's 
stopping at Oropesa," one of my companions informed me. 

After that, it came rushing at us, every minute bigger and more 
blinding. Soon we were able to hear the throb of the locomotive. 

We all got up then, and stood in the track, all but the little 
Quechuas who never moved from where they squatted over their 
fires. Now it was an enormous, dazzling bull's-eye of a light, and 
the force which brought it toward us was slowing down. The 
train was stopping. 

I found Roberto in the last seat of the coche sdonl Roberto and 
his camera, just as I had seen them when I had flown away and 
left him at the airport in Miami. He had traveled, by air and 
train, more than five thousand miles and here he was only thirty 
minutes late for his Christmas dinner! 



On the run back to Cuzco he told his story. He, too, had 
failed to receive letters. On the flight from Lima to Arequipa 
bad weather had forced the plane to turn back and spend the 
night in Pisco instead of Arequipa. That meant that he had 
missed the early train out of Arequipa for Cuzco, and there would 
not be another for two days. From the air he had seen the train 
he was to catch moving out of Arequipa! 

"If you could get an autocarril" the pilot suggested, "there's a 
chance you might overtake the train, and catch it at Pampa de 
Arrieros where it stops twenty minutes for the ten-thirty break- 

And so Roberto had jumped into an automobile, dashed in 
from the Arequipa airport to the railroad station, and there, 
through the great kindness of the Southern Railroad of Peru, an 
autocarril had been put at his disposal. 

Hence Mr. Paterson's telegram: "Mr. Niles arrived this morn- 
ing. We are sending him on by autocarril!' 

An autocarril is an automobile which has been adapted to run 
on railroad tracks. And into such a vehicle Roberto, bag and 
baggage, set forth in pursuit of that train which he had seen from 
the air. The autocarril had rushed him through that wild deso- 
late mountain country beyond Arequipa. He must reach Pampa 
de Arrieros before the train left. Otherwise there would be 
nothing but to return to Arequipa and await the next train. 

But the autocarril, tearing along in frenzied speed, won the 
race. And Roberto's telegram which the telegrapher and I had 
received so joyfully had been sent from Pampa de Arrieros. 

Details of the muddle about letters and cables not received until 
after Roberto's arrival are not interesting. The point of the ex- 
perience is the adventure in kindness. 

Of course, as soon as arrangements could be made, Roberto and 
I went to Machu Picchu. And the sun shone upon our going. 

The miracle which really was a miracle for we were in the 
season of heavy rains Juanito attributed to the Quechua prayers 
which he had been addressing to the Sun. He talked much of 



the Sun, and of the Indian nature being one of profound thought 
of "mucho pensamiento" And again I realized the striking 
identity of Juanito with Tito. For so, with a quaint gravity, 
would Tito have talked to me. 

I was thinking of this when at five o'clock on the morning of 
December twenty-eighth, we left Cuzco for Machu Picchu. 

Our plan was to go by autocarril to the end of a single-track, 
narrow-gauge railroad, intended originally to connect Cuzco with 
the sugar and coca plantations in the tropical region beyond the 
mountains. But before the line could be completed, motor buses 
had been introduced and the project abandoned. At the point 
where this railroad came to an abrupt termination we would take 
one of the buses to the bridge at the foot of the Machu Picchu 
ridge, and from there we would ascend on horseback to the ruins. 

For various reasons we had decided to travel by autocarril in- 
stead of by train. The train runs just one day a week and returns 
to Cuzco almost immediately, allowing insufficient time to see 
the ruins, while by autocarril you are free to come and go as you 
please, to stop where you will along the way. Also we wanted 
to spend a night at Ollantaytambo which is not possible if you 
go by train. Then in the autocarril, you can put down the top 
of the car, and the world is yours! 

And such a world! 

In the cold of early morning, our autocarril took us up, over 
hairpin switch-backs, out of the Valley of Cuzco, over a twelve- 
thousand-foot Pass. Our adjustment to altitude having been 
made within the first twelve hours of coming to Cuzco, soroche 
was no more than a queasy memory. 

Once over the northern Pass out of Cuzco's valley, we were 
on a high, wide, wind-swept plain, with as always in the 
Sierra a mountain horizon. The spacious valley is a scene of 
pastoral plenty with roaming flocks of sheep, and herds of pigs 
and cattle. 

The green expanse was dotted with the red-striped ponchos 
of shepherds, and Indian women, in enormously full skirts dis- 
tended by many petticoats, floated upon the sea of gree^ like 



buoys painted cerise, cherry red and Prussian blue, and topped 
with the head and shoulders of women wearing little bright 
shawls pinned about their shoulders, with big, round black hats 
faced with scarlet precariously perched on their black braids* 

And of course there were llamas, standing tall, very chic in 
their decoration of red fringe and bells. And where there is a 
village on this plain of fertility, its walls are of adobe brown 
or red according to the character of the soil. The thatch of these 
houses shone yellow in the sun on that morning when we 
journeyed to Machu Picchu. 

As the autocarril slid over the rails, I felt an immense and over- 
whelming gratitude. For I had on that day all my heart's desire. 
I had come on wings to Peru after months of uncertainty when 
the very idea had sometimes seemed just about as possible as a 
trip to the moon. I had come to Peru, and I knew now, strange, 
unforgettable Cuzco, the Andes were mine to remember forever, 
I was going upon a golden day to Machu Picchu, and all this was 
shared with Roberto, who had come so close to having had to 
renounce it. 

When we left the spacious valley, we plunged into a ravine 
so narrow that there was room only for the railroad and a river 
which flowed along beside it. On the left a trail zigzagged up 
mountains over which wisps of cloud drifted high. When the 
valley widened a little there was a group of huts, no longer made 
of adobe, but of roughly piled stone, and thatched almost to the 
ground. It was early summer in the Peruvian Andes, and every- 
where birds were singing and flowers blooming. Yet because we 
were still ten thousand feet high, the air was cold and fresh, danc- 
ing air. 

And again I remembered the words of Isabel Paterson's farewell 
letter: "I don't want to go to heaven, do you? To be footloose in 
the world as it is what more could anyone want?' 9 

If there could be in life but one such day as that of our journey 
to Machu Picchu, it would be enough to make the whole ad- 
venture of existence worth while. 



The chauffeur of our autocctnilz. charming person in an 
absurdly long-visored jockey cap entered into the spirit of the 
occasion, as if he, too, were aware of an enchantment which 
proved perfection possible of realization. 

It was a gay, eager, free day, set in a world incredibly lovely. 

Peru is a land of superlatives, of exaggeration; where shadows 
are deep, and light is brilliant, where green fertility is contrasted 
with stark aridity, where at the same moment you may look upon 
the Pacific rolling in to break upon the beach while in the east the 
snows of majestic mountains appear to reach the sky. 

And in the journey to Machu Picchu there is similar contrast, 
for the glistening peaks of the Cordillera are reflected on the 
surface of pools and streams which mirror also golden flowers, 
arranged like gladioli on tall stalks, and blooming in great clumps 
along the way. The rivers alternate between a swift calm and 
excited rapids. 

Sliding through the village of Ollantaytambo, we made hotel 
reservations for the night by shouting to a nondescript urchin 
who stood staring beside the track. "We'll be back for the night," 
our chauffeur called, and on we went. 

At intervals along the way, on both sides of the river there 
were the grey stone ruins of Inca buildings, fortresses on great 
cliffs where the valleys narrowed, and spaced what was once a 
day's journey apart, the Inns which they used to call tambos. 
Fuchsias and verbenas and geraniums grew among these ruins. 
And on all arable hillsides, terraced fields supported by stone 
walls rose, like the steps of great staircases. The old chroniclers 
had not exaggerated the huge population of the Inca Empire, for 
it had been necessary to make literally every possible inch of soil 

Since leaving the high valley above Cuzco, we had been, by 
degrees, descending, and I began to notice a difference in the air. 
There were bamboos now, as well as willows, along the river- 
banks. The trees and the cliffs were decked in moss and orchids. 
Trumpet flowers hung like white bells over the shrubs which 



bore them. Another shrub bloomed in a pendulous scarlet fringe, 
and miles of clear yellow blossoms flowed like a stream of gold 
along the river banks. The chauffeur said they were called 

We had come down to that most delightful of all altitudes 
six thousand feet in the tropical zone. The mountain slopes had 
become a velvet green, rocks were mossy, forest trees grew to the 
river's edge, banana leaves rustled about a little hut. Cascades 
hurried down the hills to join the river, and it, too, flowed fast, 
fast, as when it had been a mere streamlet born out of that cold 
little lake at the high Pass of La Raya. The strumming of in- 
sects could be heard, even above the foaming rush of the river. 
And a great flock of green parrots flew chattering out of a tree. 

So, we arrived in the tropics and at the end of the Santa Ana 
Railroad. There, we took the Santa Ana motor bus, over that 
road which Hiram Bingham had ridden twenty-five years ago 
when he discovered Machu Picchu. It was at that time a recently 
built trail, following, more or less, a very old footpath. None of 
the Inca highways had passed through the narrow perpendicular 
canyon of the Urubamba River, so that the secret of Machu Picchu 
had been well kept. And Bingham, in fact, did not even have 
Machu Picchu in his mind as he rode through the gorge. He was 
traveling about that part of Peru seeking to locate the refuge to 
which the Inca, Manco, had fled after Gonzalo Pizarro had at- 
tacked him at Ollantaytambo. The chroniclers had said that 
Manco took refuge in a place called Viticos, which place, Bing- 
ham says, had been "lost for nearly three hundred years." 

Yet it was known that certain of the Spanish soldiers, escaping 
punishment after the defeat of the Lad, Almagro, had gone to 
Viticos, had actually lived at Manco's court, and that there they 
had later murdered him. At this same mysterious lost Viticos, 
Manco's son, Cusi, had maintained his court and, like his father, 
had been much reverenced by his people. Also it was from there 
that Cusi is said to have gone in disguise to see his relative, the 
baby Melchior, christened in the Church of San Cristobal, at 
Cuzco. And at Viticos Cusi had died, as the result, his people 



believed, of those remedies administered by Friar Diego. 
Bingham in 1911, traveling over the newly opened trail through 
the spectacular Urubamba gorge, was inquiring of everyone about 
the presence of ruins, hoping to locate Videos which the chron- 
iclers had said was "near to a great white rock over a spring of 


And falling into talk with an Indian who sold fodder for the 
horses of any passing travelers, Bingham was told that there were 
ruins on the top of the ridge, in the saddle between the two peaks 
Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. 

Forty years before, the French explorer, Weiner, had reported 
having heard of these ruins, but he had evidently not visited them. 

Now, at last they were to be made known to the world. With 
the Indian as guide Bingham crossed the Urubamba over a dubious 
bridge of logs lashed together and supported on the boulders 
round which rapids boiled. Once over the bridge, they climbed 
through massed, matted jungle, and up perilous rocky steeps, 
until they finally arrived at the top of the ridge. And there 
overgrown with forest trees and heavy vines Bingham found the 
ruins of Machu Picchu! From all but an occasional Indian they 
had remained hidden for nearly four hundred years. Bingham 
had not yet found that refuge described as "near to the large 
white stone which is over a spring," but he had discovered some- 
thing which was to amaze the world. He was later to find the 
Videos he sought, but it was not to compare in interest or in 
beauty with this Machu Picchu to which he had been led, casually, 
by an Indian selling fodder for horses passing over the new river- 
trail down to the sugar plantations of Santa Ana. 

Then, in 1911, 1914 and 1915, Bingham conducted scientific ex- 
peditions, which, after clearing away the destroying jungle, studied 
in detail all that was found at this astonishing citadel 

Since that time a substantial new bridge has spanned the agitated 
waters of the Urubamba. And at this bridge we took horses for 
the ascent; patient little bay-colored horses. 

Before the jungle was cleared away the ruins were invisible from 



the river-road, but now, you may see high on the ridge a white 
gleam which you know must be Machu Picchu. 

A well-made trail twists up the once difficult face of the ridge, 
making the ascent an easy matter except in the months of heaviest 
rainfall when I could see that, even if not actually impassable, it 
would be a slippery wretched experience. And it would be too 
bad not to have a serene mind with which to enjoy the matchless 
beauty of the scene. 

Far below is the river, roaring through a narrow canyon whose 
sides tower thousands of feet, and in every direction mountains 
stand like clustered spires. Sheer walls of rock are tinted with 
the lichens that grow upon them and with the orchids blooming 
in the crevices. Other slopes are mossy green and others are 
wooded to their conical summits. These cones tower above the 
ridge, their shape making them seem immensely tall. You feel 
yourself to be an insect just flown out of space and alighted on the 
surface of the earth. You are the minutest possible insect, and 
you are merely poised for an instant there on the trail which 
leads up to Machu Picchu, enjoying the bright white light of the 
sun shining in a deeply blue sky, and marveling, as you look about 
you, at the breath-taking loveliness of the scene. 

And then the fancy passes, and you are again a human being 
mounted on a docile little bay horse which must pause now and 
again to rest with great heaving breaths, for the trail is steep and 
you are climbing from the level of the river, up two thousand feet 
to an altitude of between eight and nine thousand feet. 

In forty-five minutes we had arrived at the lowest level of the 
ruins, where we swung off our little beasts, and entered a maze 
of buildings, all of pale stone, some grey and some white. The 
streets which separate the buildings are so narrow that you must 
sometimes walk in single file. The houses stand on terraces, one 
above another to the summit. Their doors face the streets, their 
windows look out upon the wonder of the view. "A window," 
in the language of the Incas, "a window is a hole that sees." 
Therefore the beauty-loving Incas who selected always for their 



sacred places their sundials and their temples sites command- 
ing the most beautiful panoramas, also gave to their windows 
what was most lovely in the surrounding scene. 

Arrived at the city, I hurried eagerly through the streets, like 
one returning at long last to a well-known place. I would go 
first to the sundial on the height above the Sacred Plaza. I 
mounted by the Staircase of the Fountains, passed in front o 
the Temple of the Three Windows, and up a flight of stone steps. 
I felt in that moment as if I had traveled all the miles from New 
York, just to that sundial. For here, in the end, had come the 
people of my novel Tito and Salla, the "Ugly Abbess," and the 
Amauta, wise in the culture and philosophy of his time. There, 
I would look out, as they had, upon that scene which had in- 
fljienced the decisions they had had to make. 

The sundial is of grey stone, chiseled out of solid rock, with a 

central finger of stone some two feet talL The shadow of this 

stone finger records the movements of the sun, and upon it the 

Incas based their astronomical observations. The sundial was a 

Jholy-pfece-to those worshipers of the sun. 

From its elevation I looked down upon the city-on-the-ridge, 
some thirty feet below. Back of me, dominating the city, rises 
the sheer, rocky cone of Huayna Picchu, and upon it, too, are 
ruins. Just in front of the sundial is a little temple of white stone 
with windows, and beyond this are the steps going down to what 
remains of the beautiful buildings of the Sacred Plaza. Beyond 
that, the Staircase of Fountains descends on the eastern slope of 
the ridge, down to the first level of buildings, and at the foot 
of the stairway are a lovely semicircular tower, and a row of gabled 
houses, protected by an outer defensive wall. 

As I saw the city, of course it was roofless, the thatch which once 
covered its buildings, having long ago disintegrated and gone. So 
that both the inner and the exterior structure of the buildings were 
visible, and as if to compensate for the vanished paraphernalia 
of living, there were flowers blooming everywhere, within and 
without the walls, dahlias and begonias and enormous yellow 
lilies* On the western slope of the ridge, less rocky and prccip- 



itous than the eastern, stone walls supported terraced plots where 
the long-ago inhabitants once had gardens to supply them with 
grain and vegetables. The terraces, too, could have served as 
points of defense, in case of attack from below, an improbable 
event, for the river, sweeping around three sides of the ridge was 
a moat provided by Nature, Far away, I could see its foaming 
current and faintly hear its roar. 

Across the gorge, on the east, there is dense forest to the sum- 
mit of the foreground mountains, and occasionally a flowering 
tree makes a splash of carmine or yellow in the green, and in the 
distance are snow-capped ranges. In the west, the nearer moun- 
tains are treeless, but green, as though clothed in moss, while the 
further slopes are thickly forested. In the southeast and the south- 
west, are the stupendous and precipitous crags. And guarding 
the city on the south and on the north, are the cones called Machu 
Picchu and Huayna Picchu; it is on the saddle between these two 
peaks that the city stands, on a site almost impregnable, and from 
most directions invisible. 

Bingham has called Machu Picchu "the city of a hundred stair- 
ways," and looking down upon it from the sundial, I saw that 
these many stairways some of them of not more than three or 
four steps connect one with another the various levels at which 
the houses stand on the steep slope of the ridge. 

The pale stone walls were dazzling in the clear light for which 
Juanito had prayed in Quechua to the Sun. Black-and-yellow 
heliconia butterflies flapped on unhurried wings as though life 
were for them everlasting* Hummingbirds quivered before the 
flowers, and a flock of brilliant green parroquets flew low over 
the city, and out across the gorge. Below me I could see Roberto 
with his camera moving about among the buildings. 

The beauty and the grandeur of Machu Picchu, I thought, can 
never be forgotten by anyone who has seen it. 

Philip Means likes to think that the young Inca, Tupac, whom 
Toledo beheaded, spent his youth here. "Certainly," Philip says, 
"no one could ask for a more gorgeously beautiful environment in 
which to pass his days." And Bingham thinks it probable that 



when the Augustinian monk, Father Calancha, wrote (centuries 
ago) of "Vilcabamba, the Old," he was speaking of Machu Picchu. 

"In Vilcabamba, the Old," Father Calancha says, "was the 
University of Idolatory, where lived the teachers who were wiz- 
ards and masters of abomination, . . ." "There," Bingham ex- 
plains, "the Inca, Manco, treasured the remains of his religion 
and restored the University of Idolatry, and kept the Virgins of 
the Sun who had escaped from the ravages of the Spanish Con- 

And when the burial caves on the ridge beneath the city were 
opened the scientists of Bingham's expeditions discovered that 
the large majority of those buried in the caves were women, and 
that the male skeletons found were of an effeminate type "who 
might very well have been priests." These facts point to the in- 
ference that Machu Picchu and Vilcabamba, the Old, may have 
been the same. Father Calancha says also that Vilcabamba was 
three hard days' journey from Videos, and Bingham, when he 
later located Viticos, found that this applied as well to Machu 
Picchu. Bingham further describes how "Calancha relates that 
the Inca used every means in his power to tempt and try the 
monks and to endeavor to make them break their vows of celi- 
bacy . . . selecting some of the most beautiful Indian women not 
only of the mountainous districts, but from the tribes of the coast 
valleys, who were more attractive than those of the mountains." 
And scientists studying the contents of the burial caves at Machu 
Picchu found that among the skeletons of the women there were 
many of the coast type. 

Looking down from the sundial it is obvious, even to one who 
is not an archaeologist, that Machu Picchu was constructed at 
two distinct periods; some of the buildings are of finer stone and 
more precise workmanship than others somewhat carelessly put 
together. Perhaps, in establishing here his "University of Idola- 
try," Manco had found it necessary to add to the accommodations 
of the abandoned citadel, and so had hastily erected additional 

Considered as a whole these various facts make it easy to be- 



lieve the interesting theory that Machu Picchu was that Vilca- 
bamba of which Father Calancha heard so much, but which he 
never actually saw with his own eyes. 

And while I sat on the sundial dreaming of these things, the 
two small boys who had carried our lunch baskets up from the 
bridge, arrived. They had stopped by the way to decorate the 
baskets with daisies, with dahlias of many colors, with rosy be- 
gonias and yellow lilies, the Indians of today loving flowers as 
did their ancestors, the Children of the Sun. 

I sent the two boys to summon Roberto, and the watchman in 
charge of the ruins, and together we lunched at the sundial, on 
the good food prepared for us at the Hotel Ferrocarril. 

And after lunch I explored the buildings of the city, in imagina- 
tion covering the open roofs with golden thatch and furnishing 
the interiors, as Philip Means describes, with "curtains hung in 
the doorways, llama-pelts and vicuna pelts scattered about the 
floors." I lined the walls with tinted plaster. I laid down "beds of 
coarsely woven materials, finished on the top with finer fabrics." 
Then, in fancy, I put into the niches such articles as were found 
during the clearing of Machu Picchu, and when the burial caves 
were opened. I could therefore set forth pottery jugs whose 
handles represented the heads of jaguar and llama, and dishes 
decorated in geometric design, or in the stylized figures of butter- 
flies, and my mind might place ready for use, various ornaments, 
silver rings and bronze bracelets, necklaces of bronze and silver 
disks, ear-plugs for the men, and the shawl-pins with which 
every woman fastened her mantle. One of the pins was decorated 
with the long-beaked head of a hummingbird, and on another 
there was a miniature Indian boy lying on his stomach with his 
heels in the air, playing tug-of-war with a fish, large in proportion 
to himself, the fish tethered at the end of a little bronze rope. 
(For thus was one of the pins described by Bingham.) And I 
laid out bronze tweezers with which the men used to tweak out 
superfluous hairs. I had little bronze mirrors, too, in which the 
result of all this might be admired. There were also to be ar- 



ranged ready to hand, needles of bronze and bone, ax-heads and 
spindle-whorls, terra-cotta flutes, little bronze bells, and a 
medicine-man's jar, filled with the materials of his profession- 
bits of shiny rock, bits of bone and charcoal, teeth, seeds, the skull 
of a small animal, and a tiny corncob not two inches long. 

I may furnish Machu Picchu thus, since all these things were 
collected there by the exploring scientists. I was free also to 
imagine the fountains on the staircase, glistening water flowing 
from level to level and women going to fill their water-jars; 
Incaic water-jars designed to be carried on the back by ropes 
slipped through the jug-handles; that side of the jar which showed 
while it was carried, being decorated in colored design. 

The city now reconstructed and furnished in my mind, I re- 
turned to the sundial, to picture its inhabitants coming and going 
in the streets, priests in rich trappings, Virgins of the Sun in white 
robes with girdles and tiaras of gold: all fugitives from the Con- 
quest, and among them, perhaps, was the youth, Tupac Amaru. 

It might have been so. 

And suddenly then I recalled the ragged boy and the murals 
in the church of Santa Ana at Cuzco: "The Indian," he spoke 
slowly, as though really observing the paintings for the first time, 
"the Indian has a face, very intelligent . . . And the eyes of the 
Old Princess are sad." 

The autocarril took us to Ollantaytambo for the night* It was 
dusk when we arrived and the snows of the mountains were a 
cold blue-white, and the mountains themselves black* The rooms 
which we had commandeered as we passed on our way to Machu 
Picchu were ready, and as we had been up since four o'clock we 
decided to rest before supper. Then, when I saw that our room 
looked over the river, I thought it would be pleasant to have 
supper served there. 

"We'll have just a light supper," I said to the three very small 
and untidy boys who appeared to be managing the establishment 
"And we will have supper here in the room. Just soup and toast, 
some guava preserves and manzanilla tea." 



The three managers agreed and withdrew. And we lay down 
to rest. Night fell in the room, but I could not sleep. There was 
an exaltation in the experience of Machu Picchu which would 
not let me sleep. I lay in the darkness re-living the day, while 
under the window the Urubamba River rushed over the boulders 
in its way. 

After a while, with an infinite softness, the door of the room 
slowly opened. And three little figures entered. The first carried 
a lighted candle which seemed very tall because the figure itself 
was so very small, the candle, moreover, gaining height by being 
stuck into the mouth of an empty beer bottle. This figure was 
followed by a second smaller still bearing the largest tray I 
ever saw. And in the center was, of a size proportionate to the 
tray, a rack holding glass cruets: salt, pepper, vinegar, oil and 
mustard. The child with the tray was, in turn, followed by a 
third child, carrying a large plate heaped with great chunks of 

They were the three managers of the hotel! 

They entered speechless, on silent bare feet, and proceeded in 
procession around the room, as though they had no idea what to 
do now that they were there, with no notion how to go about 
serving a meal in a bedroom. In the darkness, lighted by a single 
candle, the effect of that strange little procession was as of some 
solemn religious ritual. It seemed a pity to interrupt it with 
directions about where to place the candle and the tray. 

In the morning there was Ollantaytambo, In the hotel patio 
you looked from pink roses and honeysuckle straight up to a 
peak of eternal snow. 

To reach the primitive sanitary arrangements of the hotel, 
you must go through the patio, and past the entrance door which 
was presided over by so ferocious a dog that guests are warned 
not to attempt visiting the plumbing without first summoning 
one of the three infant managers to protect them against the dog; 
this being accomplished merely by the small boy putting his 
hands over the animal's eyes. 



"Why do you keep a beast so dangerous to your guests?** I 

"Well ... you see, Senorita, there are plenty of robbers about 
and the dog is the sole defense/' 

"Hay bastante ladrones, y d pcrro cs la Anica defensa" 

When we went out into Ollantaytambo, we found it to be 
largely an old Inca village with very narrow, cobbled streets, often 
passing between typical Incaic walls. Most of its roofs are thatched 
as in the ancient days. In some of its buildings there are the 
sloping Inca niches, and on the mountainsides rise the terraced 
fields of Inca industry. Beside the river, lie two enormous cut 
stones, monoliths, planned for some building begun centuries ago, 
and never completed. The stones wait abandoned by the river 
side. "Tired stones," the Indians call them because they never 
succeeded in arriving at their destination. 

The river itself suddenly I realized this to be the river down 
which there was floated the body of that Indian woman whom in 
the long-ago Francisco Pizarro had had so cruelly killed because 
she was the favorite wife of Manco, and Manco had, in a certain 
matter, betrayed him; in fact murdering two messengers whom 
Pizarro had sent to him. For this the woman had been killed. I 
remembered how they had shot her with arrows and beaten her 
until she was dead, and how Pedro had said that she had uttered no 
moan in the pain of her death, and how he, Pedro, had believed 
that it was because of the cruelty to this woman that God had 
"punished the Marquis in the end that was his." 

When she was dead, Pedro says that, because Pizarro would 
have Manco see the vengeance he had taken, he had ordered that 
the woman's body be put into a basket and set upon the river to 
float down to Ollantaytambo where Manco was living in the 
fortress. But Cieza says that it was the woman's own wish her 
last request that when she was dead they should put her body in 
a basket and set it afloat upon the river, that she might in death 
return to the Lord she had so deeply loved in life. 

However it had happened, I stood, remembering beside the river 


She wears her hair in the style of Chincheros 


whose current had borne her poor mutilated body down to Ol- 
lantaytambo. And there, high on a great precipitous yellow cliff 
above the river I saw the massive fortress where Manco had taken 
refuge when he first fled from Cuzco, before he had retreated to 
that Viticos where eventually he had been murdered. 

The way to the fortress leads up from a cornfield where, under 
a cluster of trees at the foot of a terraced hill, there is the tiled bath 
which they call "the bath of the Princess/' Heavy stone walls 
support the terraces which climb steeply up to the fortress. And 
at the top stands the " adoratorio" : six mammoth slabs of rose 
granite, exquisitely fitted together to form an unbroken surface. 
And no one knows how these stones, weighing as much as twenty 
tons each, were transported from the quarry across the river and 
up to the fortress, nor what tools were used in fitting them so 
perfectly together. 

Now that the visit to Machu Picchu had been made it did not 
greatly matter whether it rained. And many of the delightful 
excursions which we took from Cuzco were in alternate showers 
and sun. As I look back upon them, I see wayside trees full of 
singing birds, hedges of organ cactus, bearing starry white 
blossoms like water lilies. I see wide, placid, fertile valleys, ter- 
raced mountains, little villages of adobe houses, smoke oozing 
through their thatched roofs, and bouquets of flowers attached at 
the end of long poles and hung out over the street like flags 
wherever chicha, the native liquor, is for sale. Wherever there is 
a plaza, no matter how small, it is full of flowers, and always on 
one of its four sides there is a church, as a rule a very old church, 
dating from Colonial days, with a chunky little tower where bells 
hang. And on the doors of houses that mourn a black cross is 
painted. I remember, too, when I look back upon our excursions 
about the Sierra, llamas and llamas and llamas, with necklaces of 
bells and red woolen fringe tassels in their ears. There are molle 
trees with bunches of green berries ripening red, and willows, 
and tall straight eucalyptus trees. And everywhere Indians, 
women, in great hats whose upturned brims are faced with scarlet, 



spinning as they walk, women with babies on their backs, men and 
women chewing coca, and young men who have stopped by the 
wayside to put flowers in their hats. 

It is thus that I remember Chincheros, the village of Urubamba, 
San Sebastian, Hambutio, Urcos, and Pisac where high on the 
brow of a hill there is an ancient sundial; everywhere the remains 
of Inca civilization. 

These were days full of beauty, whether the skies were blue or 
swept with rain-clouds. 

And always in Peru I found myself remembering my friend, 
Harriet Adams, who, better than any other woman, knows the 
land; for in her unique achievement of (as she puts it) "following 
each of the Conquistadores from the cradle to the grave," she has 
journeyed to every country where the flag of Spain ever flew. 

So it was that the memory of all that had gone before enriched 
my personal experience of Peru. 

Then at last our time in the Sierra had come to an end, and 
we were leaving Cuzco for Lake Titicaca. Tito and Salla had been 
born beside that lake, twelve thousand feet above the sea, and I 
would explore its shore until I found a suitable spot for their 
birthplace. Also I must see the great reed balsas in which Salla 
had always wanted to sail, and I must hear the rustling of the tall 
rushes in the wind that blows across the lake and I must hear 
the music of the shepherd's flute beside the lake. And of course 
I would remember that out of the waters of Titicaca the mythical 
first Inca had risen with his sister-wife, commanded by their father, 
the Sun, to rule over the land. 

It was on the shores of the lake that I left the sixteenth century. 
We were returning to Lima. 



I PRESENTED my passport into the seventeenth century. The friar 
who opened the door of the Monastery of Santo Domingo in 
Lima undertook to deliver to the Prior of the Monastery that 
Latin letter of introduction which had seemed to me such an 
anachronism in the equipment of a passenger by air. 

While the Friar was gone with my letter, off down the cloisters, 
I waited, sitting upon an antique horsehair sofa in a vast somber 
salon furnished with many chairs and sofas, arranged in sedate 
precision beneath dark pious paintings, the whole presided over 
by a heavy carved ceiling. And my eyes strayed from the dim 
room, out through a window opening on the cloisters. 

An arched corridor encloses a large square patio. Columns in 
a mosaic of blue and yellow and green support an upper gallery, 
where there is a similar repetition of arches. And surrounded 
by beds of flowers, there is, in the center of the patio, an old 
stone fountain the fountain where Martin de Porres had per- 
formed his miracle of washing brown sugar white. 

I gazed idly into this patio, and finally the Prior appeared, a 
cheerful little man, comfortably rotund under his white gown. 
He was glad to have the letter from his ecclesiastical colleague in 
New York. If he could give me information, he would be de- 
lighted. There were tiny packets of earth from the tomb of 
the Blessed Martin ... he was sure that I would like to have 
one. And there was a miniature replica of a broom. Did I 
know that one of the Blessed Martin's tasks had been to sweep 
the cloisters? Also I must have the booklet giving an account 
of the life of this, Peru's "Great Miracle-Worker ... the Blessed 
Martin de Porres." These things acquired, the Prior proposed to 
accompany me from the cloisters into the church* 



There, on the left of the altar, is the shrine of Santa Rosa 
Lima's patron saint the first saint of the New World, and so 
far, I think, the New World's only woman saint. And of all 
feminine saints anywhere Santa Rosa has the most romantic 
allure, more even than that twentieth-century saint the "poilu's 
saint" who came to be called "The Little Flower," because she 
had said of herself, "I am just a little spring-time flower, the 
little flower of Jesus." 

But Santa Rosa is unquestionably more romantic, perhaps be- 
cause she lived and was canonized in a century which has now 
the accumulated glamour of three hundred years of Lima. 

Her image, represented in life-size, stands high in her shrine 
in the Church of Santo Domingo, with on her left the image of 
holy Friar Masias, while the niche on her right belongs to the 
Blessed Martin de Porres. The Prior explained that Martin's niche 
was vacant because the image had been temporarily removed to 
the body of the church. The Blessed Martin, it seems, is passing 
through the tedious stages leading to sainthood. "Virtues in 
heroic degree" must be proved, there must then be established 
"confirmation of miracles of the first order," and finally proof 
of "miracles wrought by the relics." Martin has reached the 
stage of beatification, but Rome has still to be convinced of his 
qualifications for the status of saint. 

Now, while in Lima a Novena was being said for him, his 
image was taken from its niche. We would see it in just a few 
moments, the Prior said, after I had sufficiently admired Rosa, 

Rosa is shown as a young girl, so pretty, so softly rounded, so 
ardent and girlish that it is easy to believe in the many chances 
that her mother had to marry her off advantageously. But Rosa 
had at the age of five determined to dedicate herself to God and 
to lead a life of chastity; for all that she was so pretty and the 
family so poor. 

That is, however, more than three hundred years ago, and 
Rosa is now an image of shining triumph with a golden halo 
about her head, pink roses heaped at her feet, candles burning be- 
fore her, and people coming to pray. 



"Que linda, Rosita, no? Que prcciosa . . . La Santa Rosa!" 

In an urn at her feet are her mortal remains, and in a glass 
case is her effigy done in alabaster. And I was told that this was 
the first image ever to be made of little Santa Rosa. Capa, the 
Italian sculptor, had done it by order of Pope Clement IX, who 
had sent it as a gift to Lima at the time that Rosa was made a 

When we turned away from Rosa's shrine I saw that the church 
was filling with people come because of the Novena for the 
Blessed Martin, Many had brought sick children in their arms 
to implore for them his aid. 

Meanwhile the Prior talked in a soft undertone, explaining all 
things, pausing only when a genuflection was necessary. 

He pointed out, in a glass case, the skull of the Blessed Martin 
and the image ... I must note the Dominican robes. The Blessed 
Martin, as the robes told me, was a Dominican. I would observe, 
too, that he was a mulatto. Did I know that his father had been 
a Spanish knight, and his mother a negro slave? 

Of course, without any letter of introduction to the Prior, I 
would merely have had to go into the church to see for my- 
self these images of Santa Rosa and the Blessed Martin, but the 
presence by my side of a similarly white-robed Dominican, was 
a link in the mighty chain of Catholicism, and I like to remember 
the day the Prior and I stood together before the images. 

And yet my guide in that century when saints were in the 
making was not the Prior, but a certain Sergeant Mugaburu who 
has been dead for nearly three hundred years. Sergeant Muga- 
buru was a child when the saint was just "Pretty Rosa Flores." 
Her story was familiar to him. He knew how her mother had 
said that of all her children and she had eleven only Rosa's 
birth had been entirely painless. And it was often told in Lima 
how it happened that the child was called Rosa, for she had been 
christened Isabel after her grandmother, but when she was three 
months old, her mother, pausing one day to look at her as she 
slept in her cradle, was so overcome by her beauty that she caught 
her up in her arms and, covering her with kisses, exclaimed: "You 



are a rose, and you shall never be known by any other name!" 

"Pretty Rosa Flores!" Mugaburu would have remembered all 
about her. He, of course, knew that she did fine sewing to help 
in the support of those many brothers and sisters. And he knew 
for it was no secret that Rosa's mother had dreamed of a mar- 
riage of riches and position for Rosa. Through Rosa the whole 
family was to be lifted out of poverty. Rosa was the sole hope. 
And Rosa pretty Rosa was so gentle and docile. She would 
certainly understand that she was the one hope, and that nothing 
could be expected from her father, an old man and in poor 

And since the girl's beauty proved to be of the sort irresistible 
to men, it became but a question of selecting for her the most 
desirable among the many. Mugaburu knew, too, that when 
this matter of marriage was proposed, and Rosa explained that 
since the age of five she had been vowed to perpetual chastity, her 
whole family had been indignant. It was even said that her 
mother had thrashed her; and that she had forbidden the cloistered 
life her daughter wished so much to lead. Without Rosa's earn- 
ings, her mother had said, the family could not live. 

It was then that Rosa had decided to put on the habit of the 
Third Order of the Dominicans, for in the Lima of that day it 
was a very usual thing for the pious to assume the habit granted 
to laymen by the Religious Orders. It has been said that the Lima 
of the seventeenth century became "one vast cloister." Thus 
would Rosa live the monastic life in her own home, even though 
prohibited from becoming, in the literal sense of the word, a nun. 

Pretty Rosa Flores! Oh, yes, Mugaburu certainly knew all 
about her. Her father, the old Sergeant, over sixty when Rosa 
was born, lived to be a hundred, and was a familiar figure in 
Lima. Mugaburu would have been only a child when Rosa died, 
but not too young to have remembered her, perhaps to have seen 
her little figure in its white habit and black veil hurrying to help 
and comfort all who suffered or sorrowed. He would have heard 
the older people tell that when Dutch pirate ships were reported 
on their way to attack Callao, and to sack the city of TJnr^ people 



went in fearful despair to little Rosa, crying that she must save 
them, and that Rosa, smiling and tranquil, had assured them that 
the Dutch would not so much as set foot upon the land. It was 
because this prophecy had come true, they said, that Rosa is often 
pictured with an anchor in her hand* 

Even while Rosa lived, it had been understood that she was a 

For Rosa slept on a bed of rough logs covered with fragments 
of broken glass and earthenware. She mixed ashes and bitter 
herbs with her food, and rinsed her mouth with gall. Three 
times a week she fasted, and three times each night she scourged 
herself with an iron chain, until the very walls of her room be- 
came blood-stained. Under her black veil, she wore a ring of 
metal with sharp points pressing into her temples, and over her 
heart an iron cross which lacerated her flesh. Beneath her white 
robe was a tunic of haircloth, and wrapped three times about her 
waist, next to the skin, was an iron chain. And because there were 
times when the flesh rebelled against this torture, Rosa threw into 
a well in the orchard back of her home the key which locked 
the chain around her body. 

And yet, all day she sang about her work. She delighted in the 
perfume and the beauty of the flowers in her orchard, and in 
the butterflies and the birds. Her heart was full of love and 
charity toward every living thing. And her kindness to the sick 
and the unfortunate was so great that they came to call her the 
"mother of the poor." 

When Rosa died, all said, "A saint has gone,*' and women, so 
the talk went, came with scissors hidden under their mantos, 
that they might cut from Rosa's robe a miraculous fragment, and 
so many such sacred bits were cut that it was reported that six 
times it had been necessary to re-clothe her corpse. And when the 
coffin was carried through the streets roses had been showered 
upon it from the balconies. 

With all these things I was familiar, but without Mugaburu's 
diary they would never have lost their mythical character. I 



would have heard from the Prior of the Monastery of the "prodi- 
gious" lives of Santa Rosa and of the Blessed Martin. I would 
have visited in Lima the Sanctuary of Rosa, and seen the well into 
which she dropped the key that locked the chains about her waist, 
and seen the little hermitage which she built for herself in the 
orchard in that corner which she held sacred to Jesus, her "spouse." 

But none of this would have told me what was the day-by-day 
life of Lima in the century of its saints. The tradition of saints 
is easily perpetuated but it comes down to us isolated from the life 
which produced the saints, for it is rare to find any chronicle of 
the ordinary life of that distant time. 

So would the saints of Peru Santa Rosa, Santa Toribio, the 
Saint Francisco Solano, and the Blessed Martin who is not yet 
quite arrived at sainthood have been no more than myths to 
me, but for the diary of Sergeant Mugaburu, this merely average 
fellow, this man-of-the-street in that far-past Lima. 

The diary begins in the year after Martfn de Porres' death, and 
as Mugaburu was at that time not far from forty years old, Martin 
was not to him a childhood memory as in the case of Rosa, but 
a man of his own period. And everyone then living in Lima knew 
about Martin, who was a lay brother in the Monastery of Santo 
Domingo, and before that, by trade a barber and doctor in the 
street called Malambo. There, the difficulty had been that he 
would insist on doctoring the poor without charge, giving free 
his skill in the healing of wounds and ulcers, and in bleeding 
when the sickness indicated that treatment. Because of his trade 
Martin was known to both the rich and the poor, so that all 
classes could testify to his virtues and his miraculous powers. 
There were many, like Isabel Ortiz de Torres, whom he had cured 
after hope had been abandoned by physicians. Merely the touch 
of his robe was felt to possess healing power, and simply by call- 
ing three times aloud, he had raised Friar Tomas from the dead* 
He had also the gift of prophecy, and of levitation. There were 
those who swore that they had actually seen him suspended in the 
air in the attitude of prayer, both in his cell and in the church 


A llama and his Indian 


before the Crucifix, where he drank the blood from the wounded 
side of the image of Christ. He had, too, many said, the power 
of invisibility and of passing miraculously from place to place; 
from the Monastery to a plantation outside Lima owned by the 
friars, returning at will in the same fashion. But most wonderful 
of all was the report that by means of this "gift of agility" he 
was able to fly to China and Japan and other distant places where 
he converted the heathen to Christianity. There had come a man 
to Lima, one, Don Francisco de Vega Montoya, who insisted that 
when he was a captive in Barbary he had seen Friar Martin de 
Porres going about healing those of the prisoners who were ill, 
clothing those who were naked and comforting those who 
despaired. In fact this Francisco de Vega Montoya declared that 
he had himself been one of those whom Martin had thus min- 
istered to, and he added that at the time he had not known what 
was Martin's native land, since possessing, by a miracle, the gift 
of languages Martin had spoken to each in whatever happened to 
be his tongue. Then, coming to Lima after his release from 
captivity, Vega Montoya had been amazed to see there this very 
Martin de Porres, whom he had known in Barbary. Martin had 
begged him to say nothing of their former acquaintance, but when 
Vega Montoya was later told that Martin never left Lima, except 
to go to the Monastery plantation a few miles out of the city, he 
realized the magnitude of the miracle, and broke his silence in 
order that people might praise God and do homage to His servant, 
Martin de Porres. 

But for all these wonders, Martin was a man of deep humility, 
of much prayer and so given to the mortification of the flesh that 
each night he flogged himself through the cloisters, accompanied, 
so it was said, by four angels carrying lighted candles. And in 
Martin's hours of recreation, which he was fond of spending with 
Friar Masias, the two companions would go, into the orchard, 
there to scourge themselves with such ferocity that their blood 
watered the earth. 

As for the love in Martin's heart, it was so great that it overflowed 
to include the smallest and meanest of God's creatures. 



Coming one day upon a rat imprisoned in a trap, he had 
entered into a contract with the animal: 

" 'My dear little rat, if you will but agree to go to your 
friends and persuade them not to do so much mischief in the 
Monastery, then I may be permitted to set you free.* " 

" Which is all very well, Friar Martin, but after all, rats 
must live.' " 

" 'Rats must live, it is true. Very well, if the bargain is kept, 
I will bring food to you, each day here in the orchard.' " 

As for the cat which the Monastery had acquired, Martin, 
people said, had actually made friends between cat and rats, so 
that they fed amicably from the same plate; a singular sight, 
something certainly never seen in the Old World from which 
the Conquest brought for the first time to America the rat and 
the cat. 

This, and much more, Mugaburu must have heard of Martin 
de Porres, for it has all been handed down, and is included in 
that Vida Prodigiosa with which the Prior of Santo Domingo 
supplied me. 

And to men's faith in such things, Mugaburu, just an ordinary 
man, just a sergeant-at-arms, gives the color of reality. 

Mugaburu was a simple, hearty fellow with an enormous zest 
for life. His interest in the world in which he lived never lan- 
guishes in all the forty-six years of the diary. It is a frank, in- 
genuous chronicle which as it proceeds does not age. The Muga- 
buru of its beginning is the same Mugaburu who at the age of 
eighty-four, just before he dies, sets down its last entry. 

For many years after his death the diary remained unknown. 
None of the writers of the century which followed Mugaburu refers 
to it. And then the manuscript, so obviously written without 
thought of publication, came into the possession of the historian, 
Carlos Romero. He describes it as a notebook of two hundred 
pages, bound in parchment. And in Lima, in 1935, Doctor 
Romero published the diary. 



It opens without preamble of any sort. Mugaburu does not even 
hint who he is. Actually he has been keeping the diary for four 
years before you know that he is a sergeant, a fact which he then 
mentions casually in connection with an official procession in 
which he takes part among other sergeants. 

The chronicle begins simply with the statement that "On Satur- 
day the first day of September, 1640, nuns entered the Convent 
of Our Lady of Prado," that "the five first nuns came from the 
Convent of the Incarnation," that, for Abbess, they had Dona 
Angela de Zarate, and that there came with them various dis- 
tinguished personages whose names are given. 

And this, Sergeant Mugaburu's first entry, strikes immediately 
the note of the century: Nuns entered a certain convent, and it 
was an occasion at which distinguished personages were present. 
The selection of such an item is significant because of having 
been chosen, not by an ecclesiastic, but by a military man, a 

From that beginning the items follow one another through the 
years, months sometimes passing without record, so that you 
feel that the author has set down only those matters which seem 
to him of especial interest and importance. In its style the diary 
is written as objectively as the Bible and as simply. Yet it is an 
extraordinary revelation of the spirit, his own, and Lima's in 
that far-off day. Although emphasis and analysis are lacking 
in the narrative, they are supplied by the repetition of the subjects 
selected for recording out of the passing years. 

Nuns, for example, entered the Convent of Our Lady of 
Prado. The Community of the Jesuits, carrying a Christ with 
many lights went in procession through the streets, in penitence, 
praying that the city might be forgiven for sin and delivered from 
temptation. The Inquisition met and there was an auto-da-f, 
with men whipped through the streets, the most guilty hanged 
and garrotted, A fiesta was held in honor of the Immaculate 
Conception of the Virgin, with banners hanging from the bal- 
conies, ladies in carriages, the Viceroy and many gentlemen, very 
elegant, wearing much scarlet and plumes in their hats, and in 



the plaza a bull-fight, with fine, ferocious bulls. "Truly a happy 
day with much to see," And all in honor of the Immaculate Con- 
ception of the Mother of Christ. But, alas, in the rejoicings, no 
Dominicans, for those of that Order refused to admit that the 
Virgin had been conceived without Original Sin! 

From time to time, Mugaburu sets down also the news that 
was cried in the plaza: 

An armada was leaving with treasure for His Majesty. An 
armada had arrived with news from Spain, what had been hap- 
pening in Madrid and who was coming out to Peru. Proclama- 
tions, too, were cried in the plaza. For example, it was proclaimed 
that no mulatto, or negro, or any born of Indian and negro, might 
carry a knife, or arms of any sort, either by night or day, under 
penalty of one hundred lashes and four years at the galleys, with 
a fine of fifty silver dollars to be paid by his master, whether 
that master be an ecclesiastic or a layman* 

The diary records, too, the various earthquakes, especially that 
which "lasted for a space of four credos." And it describes the 
procession of the Penitents who after an earthquake scourged 
themselves through the streets. 

Then, there is the description of a certain Novena in honor 
of the Virgin of Rosario. And this image that was carried with 
much solemnity, possessed diamonds and pearls to the value of 
more than two million dollars. Many sermons were preached at 
her Novena, and all were concerned with the Mother at the foot 
of the Cross. For two days there was much coming and going, 
both on foot and on horseback, in the City of Kings, (Mugaburu 
loves to speak of Lima by its title of the City of Kings.) And 
there was the firing of many guns, the squadrons being reviewed 
by the Viceroy and the grandees of the city, and with them were 
many sergeants, "of which," Mugaburu concludes, "I was one." 

Has a diary, I wonder, ever before been kept for a period of 
four years without a word to say even who its author was! And 
then nothing more than that there were many sergeants, of which 
he was one! 

In the course of the chronicle there arc at rare intervals bits of 



personal information about the family Mugaburu. It appears 
that there were ten children, whose doings are now and then set 
down. Antonio, for instance, aged eleven, was angel in the 
Archbishop's procession. The son, Joseph, grew up and entered 
the priesthood. A daughter was married. Joseph sings his first 
Mass. Joseph goes with much "luster" to Cuzco to take charge 
of a parish. Mugaburu visits him there. Joseph, his "dear son," 
dies, and Mugaburu returns to Lima. 

But these intimate events are briefly related and Mugaburu's 
emphasis is upon the recital of great public events. 

A Viceroy's arrival, with His Excellency riding in a carriage 
drawn by six mules, very elegant, with twenty lackeys all in 
scarlet, and four dwarfs. Knights, too, in a livery never before 
seen in Lima, "the plaza seemed liked a garden of flowers." Grand 
salvos from the artillery, and in the square many games of canas 
and tilting with lances and bulls who were "muy bravos. . . . 

"And every one was delighted to have seen a thing so grand 
and prodigious/' 

There was also a most scandalous event concerning the election 
of the Abbess of the Convent of the Incarnation. To pacify the 
nuns, whose difference of opinion in the selection of their Abbess 
had led those religious ladies to physical blows, His Excellency 
had sent cavalry and infantry. The trouble had begun on a 
Sunday night and on Monday the Convent was surrounded by 
armed men and a proclamation had been cried to the effect that 
no person of whatever quality might communicate with, or aid 
the militant nuns, under pain of exile; and, if the offenders were 
mulattoes or negroes they would receive two hundred lashes. This 
order was to remain in force until the election of the Abbess was 

In the meantime, the authorities decided to remove to different 
convents four of these mischief-making "Senorita Nuns." And 
throughout Sunday night and Monday, there had been great noise, 
because the nuns had incessantly rung the Convent bells* But 
at last all had been tranquilized by the Abbess whom they finally 



Already Mugaburu's diary has made it plain that religion was 
the chief preoccupation of that century. Most events were linked 
to the great absorbing subject of religion. Almost all games, bull- 
fights, and fiestas in general, were pious in character, honoring 
the many saints and images, celebrating the laying of corner- 
stones in some ecclesiastic establishment, or the raising of bells 
to a newly completed tower, or the festal days of the Church. 

Someone has said that in the Lima of that time it was the 
"function of a soldier to be elegant and decorative in processions 
and fiestas." And in all such matters Mugaburu delighted. 

He was pleased also by the festivals of the various trades, of 
the plasterers and the masons and the painters and the metal 
workers, the makers of tile, and the confectioners, the brewers 
and the grocers. The Indians had special fiestas, as did the 
mulattoes and the negroes. They gave masquerades and dramas 
which Mugaburu found diverting. There were companies of 
professional entertainers, too, who performed comedies in a corral 
which served as a theater. But practically everything was arranged 
to be in some way linked to religion. And because Lima was 
by night so dark a city, with only here and there a lamp flickering 
before the street-corner image of a saint, every festival was an 
occasion for fireworks and many lights. 

Mugaburu revels also in the regal and ecclesiastical dress of 
the functions, and in the display of courtesy. Many of his descrip- 
tions end with the words: "And there was much courtesy*" 

Even the funerals played a decorative part in the life of Lima* 
Mugaburu speaks of coffins draped in black velvet, of portals in 
mourning, of the Archbishop preaching very well, of the proces- 
sion as "sumptuous." And he lists always the distinguished 
among those present, concluding with the modest little phrase: 
"And there were sergeants of which I was one." 

The whole diary is charged with its author's capacity for un- 
selfish, impersonal happiness. He glories in every honor received 
by someone else. He is fascinated by luxury and grandeur, and 
it does not in the least matter that these things are for others, 
and not for himself. To Mugaburu life is a gorgeous experience. 



The bulls are always "the fiercest and finest ever seen." A fiesta 
is invariably an occasion when there is "much joy and much to 
see/' Sermons are good. Wafers and chocolate and cool drinks 
are appreciated. 

Even hangings and floggings are not allowed to cloud the 
delight of living. These matters are recorded as briefly as may be. 
There is nothing sadistic in Mugaburu, but as a conscientious 
author he will not omit any event of importance. So it is that 
he includes the sitting of the Holy Inquisition and the auto-da-fe 
which follows upon such sittings: sorceresses are flogged and 
heretics burned or hung. The ordinary crimes of murder and 
thieving are duly punished. A grocer's shop, for example, has 
been robbed, and the thieves two mulattoes, a negro and two 
zambos are hung in the plaza. Indian uprisings are punished by 
hanging, flogging and sentence to the galleys. For bringing 
"bad false news" from Chile an Indian receives two hundred 
lashes through the streets, and is sentenced to carry rock for 
six years. 

Just what was that "bad false news" Mugaburu does not say. 
Nor does he allow himself to dwell upon any of these dismal 
things, accepting them cheerfully as part of Kf e, and concentrating 
his attention on such happy matters as the Vice-queen's attendance 
at Mass after the birth of her child, dressed in white and carried 
in a "hand-chair." 

The only real distress that runs through the diary is the Do- 
minicans' obstinate refusal to concede the Immaculate Conception 
of the Virgin. As for Mugaburu, he was a valiant champion of 
the Virgin's conception without sin. "Nucstra Senora? he would 
say fervently, "Nuestra Scfiora conccbida sin pccado original. 
Amen. Jests" 

The controversy on this subject of the Immaculate Conception 
depressed even the spirit of Mugaburu. Over and over he de- 
scribes processions and bullfights in its honor, concluding his 
account sadly: "But no Dominicans." Or of a sermon he laments: 
"But the Dominicans refused to say 'conceived without sin.' " 

And then, at last, in December of the year 1662, the Prior of 



the Monastery of Santo Domingo had paused in the midst of his 
sermon to praise the Holy Sacrament. And those listening had 
added, "And praises be to the Immaculate Conception of the 
Virgin Mary, Our Lady, conceived without original sin/* 

Then the Prior had said: "And that I say, and to that I submit.'* 
But it was felt that the words were lukewarm, spoken with the 
lips only; even though at the close of the sermon, he had again 
repeated them. 

But that night, in "such a procession as had never been seen," 
when ten thousand people marched in the streets carrying lighted 
candles and singing, "Concebida sin pccado'/ there had still 
been no Dominicans. Church bells had rung, and with those 
marching, there had been the friars of San Francisco, of San 
Agustin, and la Merced, but the bells of Santo Domingo had been 
silent, its doors closed, and in the procession no Dominicans; for 
all the words their Prior had spoken that day in the pulpit. 

It was not until two years later that Mugaburu's triumph had 
been complete. For then, at last, the friars prostrating them- 
selves before the altar of the Dominicans had cried aloud: "Blessed 
and praised be the Virgin, Our Lady, conceived without sin from 
the instant of her conception." 

And when the people crowded in the church, hearing this, 
went out and told what had happened, Mugaburu says that "all 
the city was filled with solemn joy." 

It was when he was seventy that at last an honor came to 
Sergeant Mugaburu whose life had been so given over to rejoicing 
in the renown of others* A new Viceroy had come to Lima, a 
Count Lemos, whose father, back in Spain, had been the patron 
of Cervantes. And this new Viceroy promoted Mugaburu, the 
sergeant, to a captaincy. 

"I was given," Mugaburu says, "the degree of Captain of 
Spanish infantry in the Presidio of Callao. . , . And they an- 
nounced the tide and the honor which the Viceroy made to 


Prc-Inca stone-work at Ollantnytamho 


me Jose de Mugaburu y Honton. . . . And, wearing a very 
magnificent suit of buckskin, I marched carrying my lance." 

But he is no happier, you feel, in this personal glory than all 
along he has been in celebrating the honors that have come to 

And he has soon a new excitement, for "Pretty Rosa Flores" 
has been declared a saint, and an image of her done in alabaster 
is coming from Rome. Mugaburu, stationed as Captain at Callao, 
is present on its arrival. 

The Viceroy, he says, came down from Lima to welcome the 
image. He was dressed in crimson and carried the baton as 
insignia of his rank as captain-general. When he reached Callao 
the artillery fired its guns, and the Viceroy commanded that there 
should be a salute of three guns when the crate containing Santa 
Rosa's image was landed on the dock. 

Then, on the following morning, with volleys from the artillery, 
the image was borne on the shoulders of men while the women 
of Callao followed on foot carrying lighted candles. And at 
Lima the friars came out to meet it, with crosses. And that 
night there was grand illumination all over the city, in the 
windows and on the streets. The next day, after High Mass, 
the image was carried in procession to Santo Domingo, 

"And it was an afternoon very much to be seen." 

So the diary proceeds to the final entry. It was a Wednesday, 
the second of October, the year 1686. 

The entry describes the arrival in Lima of a certain General 
who had gone in charge of the Armada when, in the previous 
year, it had sailed with treasure for His Majesty. . . . "Whom 
(Mugaburu prays) God preserve. . . ." And on the day of this 
General's return to Lima, he adds, "There was much rejoicing in 
the city." 

Such is the end of this chronicle faithfully kept for forty-six 

Six weeks later, Francisco, Mugaburu's son, records in the diary 



that, after two months of great suffering his father died. And 
that in his illness he twice received Extreme Unction, that he many 
times confessed, and that he left them with sure hope of his salva- 
tion, "by reason of his good life as well as of his good death." 

Francisco goes on to say that his father was buried in the early 
morning, the hour having been selected because in the afternoon 
there was to be a bullfight in the plaza. . . . 

A bullfight! But without Mugaburu to declare that never were 
bulls more "bravos" and that it was an afternoon of rejoicing with 
very much to be seen! 

Thus as his century moved toward its close, Mugaburu had died, 
but his having lived gives to it reality: he sets the stage for the 
making of saints. 

For some time after his father's death Francisco carried on the 
diary, and twelve days later, he entered this item: 

"On the twenty-third of November, 1686, a request was 
made to the Monastery of Santo Domingo, for information 
concerning the servant of God, Friar Martin de Porrcs. Many 
illustrious persons accompanied the request, and there went 
ahead mulattoes with banners, dancing and rejoicing in honor 
of Martin, the glorious servant of God. . . ." 

This was the beginning of the beatification of Martin de Porres, 
a man known to all in the town in the years when Mugaburu was 
growing up and marrying, and becoming sergeant in the guard. 

Yet, more than two hundred and fifty years later, Martin has 
gone no further on the road to sainthood, 

"I wish he could be made saint," I said to the Prior as we stood 
together before his image in the midst of the flowers and the 
candles of a Novena. "I wish he could be." 

There was on the face of the image a gentle patience. That, 
I thought, he would have had from his slave mother. But I re- 
membered also that his Spanish father had been a proud Knight 
of Alcantara. "I wish they'd make him a saint/' I repeated- "I 
think it would make him happy." 



THE chauffeur he who was so busy paying for a Plymouth car 
on the installment plan that he had no time to concern himself 
with political matters drove me, on a bright December after- 
noon, straight into the eighteenth century. 

And we conversed along the way: 

"Are you Senorita or Senora?" he asked. (On our various ex- 
cursions about Lima he had been addressing me as Senorita.) 

Now I confessed to being Senora, adding meditatively that 
Senorita was a pretty word; thinking, as I spoke, of its tender 
quality, its implication of enduring youth and romance, of the 
picture that it conveys of a lover singing to his guitar beneath the 
window of his lady. 

"Senorita," I repeated, "is a pretty word." 

"Verdad, pero Scnora cs muy deccntc" 

We drove through the modern Lima, where pink crepe myrtle 
bloomed in the handsome new plaza of San Martin, and across 
the bridge over the Rimac, into a Lima not after all much altered 
by the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

The chauffeur was taking me to the house where tradition 
insists the famous actress La Perricholi once lived; and, with 
the comment that Senora is a highly respectable word still 
idling about my mind, I was thinking how incidental the con- 
ventions had been in the Perricholi's life, how she had valued 
other things above what was meant by the chauffeur's "muy 
dcccnte" Her profession, for example. To be an actress, that 
to the Perricholi had stood beside her religion, while to be 
mistress to the Viceroy, that, too, was a glamorous thing; marriage 
a matter so secondary that it might be indefinitely deferred, 



The Perricholi knew precisely what she wanted of life which is, 
of course, the first, and the longest step, toward achieving it. 

As I journeyed through the centuries in Peru, certain personal- 
ities stood out in time, as though in life they had lived with such 
intensity that they may never wholly leave the scenes which once 
knew them. 

So the Perricholi lingers on in Lima. And when I arrived in 
her century she was the person that I most wanted to know. 
For to know the Perricholi is to know Lima of the eighteenth 

And the rose-colored villa to which the chauffeur took me is 
so exactly the sort of thing that she would have loved that I accept 
as fact the tradition that it was hers* 

The viceregal coach would have looked well waiting before 
its imposing gates, and on the balconies overlooking the entrance 
court a lovely actress would have shown herself to such advantage 
to a worshipful crowd following her home after a triumphant 
performance at the theater. 

The villa would have been to Perricholi a palario, with its huge 
high rooms, its black-and-white tiled stairway, its vast carved 
doors, its enormous windows with their ornamental gratings, the 
long mirrors reflecting her adorable self, her costly velvet furniture, 
her brocade hangings, her bric-a-brac from Europe and China, her 
exquisite hammered dishes of Peruvian silver, and at night the 
many flickering candles in her chandeliers. 

Even yet the villa retains an air of splendor and that gaiety which 
the Perricholi loved; although now a wing of the building is 
used as barracks for a garrison of soldiers, and the rest is but one 
deserted room after another, with an occasional piece of furniture, 
seeming, in the bare rooms, as though forgotten by the moving 
men of long ago. 

Yet it seems so much the villa of the Perricholi that it is easy 
to fit into the house and the garden whatever may be your own 
conception of Lima's enchanting Perricholi. 

Prosper Merimee, out of a vague traveler's tale, created the 
Perricholi of his L Carrosse du Saint Sacrcmcnt. Thornton 



Wilder, in The Bridge of San Luis Rey, has another, the authors 
of the libretto for Offenbach's opera La Perichole have a third, 
who is later revamped and elaborated for the Moscow Art Theater's 
production. These various versions all give her the name "Ca- 
mila" Perichole, and all call the Viceroy "Don Andres de Ribiera." 

There remains, however, the real Perricholi, Micaela Villegas, 
the Perricholi of Lima, perpetuated in those traditions which 
Ricardo Palma gathered so carefully from survivors of her time. 
And these traditions are further enriched by the Perricholi por- 
trayed in 1776, by an annoymous contemporary in a pamphlet 
attacking the Viceroy who was her patron. And there are in 
the archives of Lima a few stray documents, which reveal some- 
thing more of the actual woman. 

From these traditions assembled while some still lived who 
knew her, from evidence quoted from that suppressed and scur- 
rilous pamphlet written while she was at the zenith of her fame, 
and from the factual testimony of the documents, I have shaped 
the Perricholi whose image flashed for me in the glittering mirrors 
of this house where perhaps she lived ever so long ago. When I 
walked in the great walled garden back of the house, this Perricholi 
seemed to move among the bright flowerbeds, or to come toward 
me between green clipped hedges along a flagged walk shadowed 
by quivering palm fronds and the foliage of fruit trees, and 
sometimes I fancied that I saw her plunge into the big tiled pool 
under the pavilion. 

The sunny garden is fragrant with roses and heliotrope and 
great starry white jasmine, and there is always the soft rushing 
music of the waters, long ago diverted from the Rimac River 
to supply the pool and to keep the garden always freshly green 
even in the driest months. 

I never went into this garden of enchantment without the con- 
viction that it was the Perricholi's. And certainly the soldiers now 
quartered there have no doubt that it was hers. They take you 
about and graciously fill your hands with her flowers. They 
show you a marble bust of her, discovered, they say, in 1934, in 
the course of some excavation about the place. 



The bust stands on a pedestal back of a circular stone fountain, 
at the end of the flagged walk which bisects the garden. The 
fountain is so choked with the leaves and the blue flowers of 
water-hyacinths that its flow has dwindled to the merest trickle. 
Over this fountain the marble Perricholi looks down the walk 
to the house with its wide, second-story veranda. 

The face of the sculptured Perricholi is lovely and seductive, 
the head crowned with marble grapes and grape-leaves, the hair 
soft even in the cold medium of stone, I remember that it was 
in life profuse and of a lustrous black, and that it was the fashion 
of the day to wear the black hair in long curls, or to plait it 
into several braids so looped that they hung to the shoulders, 
held together at the neck by a gold dagger set with diamonds or 

On the pedestal is engraved the information that the bust was 
found in June of 1934, and with it a document stating that it had 
been executed at the order of Viceroy Amat, by a Genoese artist, 
and that it is a representation of one, Micaela Villegas. 

As I read the words the Peruvian army officer who accompanied 
us was explaining to me how it came about that Micaela Villegas 
was given the name of "La Perricholi." 

But that is anticipating the story, which is of the sort that should 
begin in the dear familiar manner of "Once upon a time " 

Once upon a time then, there was a little girl named Micaela 
Villegas. She was a chola child which means that both Spanish 
and Indian blood went to her making; she was born in the Sierra 
at a place called Huanuco. 

But when she was five years old, in the year before the "Great 
Earthquake," her mother brought her down to live in the capital 
city of Lima, not far from the sea, where you are never too 
warm and never too cold, a place gentle and balmy, where the 
act of living is pleasantly easy. 

And this was in the city's proud days, when its streets were full 
of gilded carriages, paneled in florid design and lined with brocade 
in brilliant colors, while for the nobility there were magnificent 
coaches drawn by four mules. People used to speak of Lima as 



a city of more than four thousand carriages. There were cavaliers, 
too, in graceful capes which swung with the motion of their 

Pleasure was the business of life, and there were so many slaves 
that no one of them was overburdened. 

But to support the luxury of Lima, on the haciendas of cotton 
and sugar cane slaves were slaves, and in the mines of the Sierra, 
Indians toiled that Lima might live in this picturesque pomp, 
where only those predisposed to sainthood ever thought of saying 
"no" to the flesh. 

This was Lima in the voluptuous eighteenth century, the century 
of Madame du Barry and La Pompadour, of Versailles, of Marie 
Antoinette and the Petit Trianon. 

Great caravans of mules brought into Lima what the city re- 
quired from the haciendas, and from the port of Callao the fine 
merchandise arrived by sailing ships from Europe and the Orient. 
So many caravans of mules that the streets were full of their 
dung, which in the dry season disintegrated into a dust which 
drifted like smoke, with the passing of carriages and coaches and 
mounted gentlemen. 

To a little girl from the Sierra the fine ladies of Lima were 
astonishing in silks and velvets which opened in front to show 
petticoats flounced in the best laces of Europe, lace bodices low 
over their bosoms, and jewels sparkling in their ears, in their 
necklaces and their bracelets; even in their girdles and in the 
buckles which adorned their tiny shoes. Equally fascinating these 
ladies were, too, when they shrouded themselves in black mantos 
and went about the city showing just one great dark eye, so that 
you did not know who they were, and were kept guessing. 

Travelers of long ago have described this Lima to which little 
Micaela had come down from the Sierra. And invariably they 
were impressed with the Moorish quality of the city. The domes 
of its churches reminded them of Mohammedan mosques, while 
the patios, the flowers, the trickle of fountains, the flat roofs, the 
horseshoe arches, the stretches of blind, mysterious walls, the 
gratings, even the veiling of women when they walked in the 



streets, these were all Moorish legacies transplanted from Spain to 
Lima, far away in the New World. 

A child never tires of the life in the streets and to one like 
Micaela, with a genius for mimicry, the street cries of Lima 
would have provided never-ending diversions. 

There was the milk-seller calling in the very early morning. 
At that hour, too, there was the woman selling herb teas; mate 
from Paraguay, manzanilla, native to Peru, and baldo which 
comes from Chile; each tea claiming to regulate human ills and 
to prolong life. 

La Icchera! La tisancral Calling up and down the streets, 

You could tell the time by these street cries. The tea-woman 
and the milk-woman that meant six o'clock. And it would be 
eight o'clock when you heard the man calling buns-for-sale. At 
ten, there was the tamale-woman; at eleven, the melon-woman 
sang; at twelve, the man with fruit, oranges and figs, alligator 
pears, the fruit of the passion-flower, chirimoyas and grapes. And 
at the same hour a man who sold peppery little mincemeat tarts. 
At one, men with alfalfa to feed Lima's mules and horses, little 
donkeys so loaded with alfalfa that they seemed like moving 
stacks of grass, to each of which had been attached a donkey's 
head and tail. At two o'clock there were maize-cakes, at three 
the taffy-man, at four the pepper-woman and at five a man who 
sang of the flowers he carried: 

"Here is a garden! A garden! Lassie, don't you smell it?" 

And when his cry had died from the street there came at six 
o'clock the poultry-man, at seven the caramel-man, at eight a 
man who sold ice-creams and another with wafers rolled very 

Then at nine, at the bell to cover up the fires, there came, 
each in a red cape and each with a lantern in his hand, those who 
begged alms for the souls in Purgatory* 

Then it was time for Micaela to go to bed; to sleep until the 
milk-woman and the tea-woman came to wake the world. 

And if a little girl was born an actress she could reproduce 
these cries of the hours. 


The gorge of the Urubamba 


It was a period when women got on with small education; 
elementary religious instruction and some training in music was 
thought sufficient. But Micaela's talent was an impetus to go 
further. She learned to play with skill on both the harp and the 
guitar. She had a voice so full of harmony that inevitably she 
sang to their accompaniment. And her memory was so quick that 
while she was still a child people were delighted with her recita- 
tions. Even as a little girl she could give scenes from the gallant 
capa y cspada dramas, and from the comedies of Lope de Vega, 
Calderon de la Barca, and Juan de Alarc6n. 

Naturally the lines which she so early memorized from these 
authors had a part in the fashioning of her mind and her 

Lope de Vega stimulated her own wit, and taught her to live 
in the world of the imagination. He appealed to her natural 
gaiety, and introduced her to the history and legends of Spain. 

The Corpus Christi plays of Calderon de la Barca were full 
of a mysticism which could not fail to appeal to the Indian in 
Micaela, to the capacity for profound worship so strong in the 

While Alarcon, the hunchbacked, red-bearded genius of Mexico, 
spoke to her in the spirit of her native America as well as of 
Spain. That exotic quality in his work which his fellow writers 
in Madrid had found so disturbing, so irritating, because un- 
familiar, would not have been strange to Micaela with her fusion 
of the two bloods. 

As she grew older she must have felt it a bitter thing that he 
had been so cruelly attacked by the Spanish writers, that in their 
dislike they should have ridiculed even his physical deformity; 
and that it should have been left to the great Frenchman, Corneille, 
so to value his work that he said he would have given his own 
two best dramas to have been the author of Alarc6n's La Vcrdad 

Alarc6n had been dead a hundred years when Micaela was born, 
but all that he had suffered seemed still to endure in the lines 
he had written: 



"Prdvida naturaleza, 
Nubes congela en el viento, 
Y reparticndo sus Ihivias, 
Riega el arbol mas pequeno" 

Thus Alarcon would have taught Micaela compassion for the 
unfortunate. While the artistry of the lines which he so carefully 
composed and polished, with such regard for restraint and for 
style, must have influenced her great respect for her art, which is 
a thing remote from any vanity of the ego. 

When Micaela was twenty the thing happened for which she 
had been created. She got her chance to appear on the stage, 
and immediately she was the sensation, the darling of Lima's 
one playhouse: in return she gave to the theater a love of her 
art which never knew any rival 

And of course her mother, and the brother Felix who all his 
life adored her, exulted in her instant success. Their Miquita 
in the pretty diminutive of intimacy their Miquita was all at once 
become the first actress in Lima, to them the first actress in the 

If proof were needed, there was the contract with Maza, impre- 
sario of the theater. . . . Imagine Miquita with a contract and a 
salary of a hundred and fifty dollars a month! 

So glittering a thing is success, a sun in whose warmth those 
who love you, who have believed in you, may bask content, justi- 

Now when Lima was not talking of "La Villegas," as they 
called Micaela, they were speculating upon what sort of man 
would be the new Viceroy, expected soon to arrive. The beauty 
of La Villegas, her latest role, her newest song, alternated with 
exchange of information about the Viceroy, Don. Manuel Amat, 
who was on his way from Chile* 

Everyone wanted to know if he was married. And when 
it was learned that though he was past sixty he was still a bachelor 
the news sped through Lima. "Though what good it docs you 
all, I can't see/' said a shrewd old marquise, "since you know 



perfectly well a viceroy is forbidden to marry within his jurisdic- 
tion. And a good rule too, or the mothers with daughters in 
the market would claw each other's eyes out." 

It was in the lovely month of December that the new Viceroy 
arrived; at the beginning of Lima's summer, when the crepe 
myrtles are blooming like rosy clouds drifting through green 
foliage, and the jacandra trees border the avenues with bouquets 
of lavender, and in the roadside willows, flocks of small birds 
twitter and sing all day, and the air is clear, with no more mist 
to veil the city until May shall come again. 

To welcome this new Viceroy, the balconies were hung with 
banners and tapestries, and triumphal arches had been set up 
along the way by which he was to pass. The cavalry led the pro- 
cession, followed by the artillery, the city militia and the troops of 
the line, the university professors in their robes, the members of 
the Audience on horses covered with trappings of black em- 
broidered velvet, the magistrates on foot in scarlet velvet robes, 
and then the Viceroy. . - 

What would he be like, this Don Manuel Amat, who was come 
to rule Lima? 

Micaela looked at him certainly with the eyes of a woman used 
to appraising men. 

The Viceroy came on horseback with two of the city aldermen 
in their official robes, on foot, leading his horse, while eight mem- 
bers of the Corporation, also on foot, supported a crimson and 
gold canopy over his viceregal head. 

They had said that he was past sixty but his face seemed younger 
than that. It was a round plump face, smooth shaven beneath 
grey hair worn long enough to be curled up over each ear in a 
soft roll. 

The outgoing Viceroy's hair was longer and curled under. 
Amat's shorter, upturned cut raised the lines of his face and at 
the same time lifted the years, directing attention to his dark wide- 
spaced eyes tinder their well-marked brows. His figure, too, 
had a young upstanding air. After all, he had been an army 
man from the beginning* 



As for his dress, even the King could not have been more 
impressive than this Viceroy riding with royal pomp under a 
canopy of gold and crimson, while in the plaza, the Archbishop 
waited to receive him with all the honors of the Church. 

And when the days of celebration were over, and there had 
come at last an end of speech-making and feasting and bull- 
fights, it appeared that the new Viceroy's favorite diversion was 
the theater. 

And upon sight he loved Micaela Villegas to madness, 

Was she so beautiful? 

Not, Ricardo Palma says, if by beauty you mean an orthodox 
regularity of features, but if you find beauty in supreme grace, 
then Micaela was irresistible. 

She is described by one who knew her as being very small, with 
a rounded figure and the tiny hands and feet so characteristic 
of the Peruvian Indian. Her bosom was full, "titrgcntc" as her 
contemporary puts it, and such a bosom was the fashion of her 
day. She had exciting shoulders and a beautifully turned neck* 
Her face was a delicate oval of pale olive, lit by bright black eyes 
and tiny brilliant teeth. Her lips were full, like her bosom, and 
on the upper lip was a provocative little mole. For her nose, he 
does not say much, and he adds that, here and there, her skin 
showed the marks of smallpox which she managed skillfully 
to conceal with the aid of cosmetics. 

She understood how to dress with a taste extremely restrained 
in spite of the flamboyant tendency of the time. 

This Micaela Villegas possessed evidently the magic of creat- 
ing that illusion of beauty which is a thing, after all, more 
potent than mere beauty itself. Without having been born in 
Lima she had succeeded in making her own all the seductive 
charm of the Limenian which through the centuries has led 
men to devote pages of serious Memoirs and Histories to the 
fascinations of the women of Lima. 

And Micaela had them all, the tang of a salt-and-pcpper wit, the 
lively fancy, the vivacity, the coquetry, the tenderness, and the 



gift of making people happy, making them pleased with them- 
selves. To these qualities she added a great love of the beautiful 
and the noble, and a spirit deeply religious. The combined traits 
were essentially Spanish, while the necessity to worship was 
profound in her Indian blood. For Micaela was a chola of the 
Sierra as well as a seductive Limenian. 

To the Viceroy, Don Manuel Amat, in his box at the theater, 
she was more even than all this: to the dying fires of his age she 
was tremendously alive. His experience showed him at once 
how vivid an intelligence and eager an imagination she brought 
to the roles she played. 

And he loved her with the extravagant folly of maturity* 
His infatuation could not have been concealed, and he made 
no effort to hide it. All Lima knew that the Viceroy had fallen 
in love with La Villegas. 

Micaela's mother, whose temperament can be inferred from just 
one sentence in Palma's Tradicioncs, had been of course inflated 
with the pride of her Miquita's success on the stage, but that her 
child should be loved by a Viceroy that was something! 

His very titles made the mind dizzy: 

His Excellency, Viceroy and Captain General of Peru, President 
of the Royal Audience, Superintendent of the Royal Finances, 
Director General of Mines, Knight of the Order of San Juan 

It was quite impossible to remember them all. But in a word 
he was representative of the King himself and responsible only 
to him. 

And he loved her Miquita to madness. The whole of Lima 
knew it. 

The aristocracy, not then sufficiently intelligent to pride them- 
selves upon any save royal Indian blood, raged that their Viceroy 
should be the slave to a chola actress, a half-breed girl from the 
Sierra, but their raging did them no good 

Actually the Viceroy was building a palace for Micaela, and 
it was not long before she was riding in his retinue when he drove 
out in the viceregal coach. 


God be thanked, they said, that a Viceroy was prohibited from 
marriage within his jurisdiction. 

Nevertheless Micaela gave Amat a son and had the effrontery to 
name him Manuel Amat. 

The hope that he would tire of the girl passed with the years. 
Micaela went on acting and the Viceroy went on adoring her. 

As for the grandmother of the little Manuel, her airs were 
infuriating to the haughty grandees. She had a habit of calling 
from the balcony: "Keep out of the sun, child* Remember that 
you are not a nobody. . . ." 

"Quitate del $ol, nino, que no cres cualquiera, sino hi jo dc cabcza 

And this arrogant presumption which so exasperated Lima was 
handed down through the years until Ricardo Palma perpetuated 
it in print. 

Meanwhile the Viceroy was growing a crop of enemies* For, 
as though his imbecility in the matter of Micaela were not enough, 
he made himself further detested by his strict carrying out of the 
King's every edict, being especially offensive in scrupulously col- 
lecting the King's revenues. 

But nobody could say that Amat did not work hard for the good 
of Lima. He had reorganized the army. He had under construc- 
tion a new bullring and a cockpit. He was himself personally 
directing the building of the Church of the Nazarenes and restor- 
ing the tower of Santo Domingo so greatly damaged by a great 
earthquake, and he was planning new avenues and plazas. He 
saw Lima as the Versailles of the New World. 

But he continued to love Micaela, and that was not forgiven 

Meanwhile Micaela laughed and sang and delighted her 
Viceroy. She might so easily have given, herself up to luxury and 
pleasure, and to lolling on the low, cushioned daisanother of 
the Moorish legacies transplanted to Lima. For her diversion 
she would have had her guitar and her harp, and there were the 
parties at the palace where she met the most distinguished men 
of Lima. But none of these compensated for the theater. First 



and last Micaela was an actress. The Viceroy's adulation never 
touched that. It was perhaps this fact that she might never 
be wholly possessed that held Amat. 

And in her devotion to her own profession of course she under- 
stood his ambition to excel as a viceroy. 

Through all that troubled time of the expulsion of the Jesuits 
from Peru, Micaela's companionship must have been his comfort 
The banishment of the Jesuits was a business of immense difficulty, 
and Amat knew well enough that it would increase the already 
disturbing number of his enemies. But the command had come 
in the hand of the King himself, sent out from Spain by a special 
messenger, and it was Amat's duty to carry it out in every detail. 
The Jesuits were powerful, with many relatives and connections. 
It was necessary to act with complete secrecy, arresting and as- 
sembling members of the Order all over the country, at the same 
time that a ship was made ready to take them out of Peru. It 
was a difficult, dangerous business, and the Viceroy needed the 
comfort which was Micaela's to give. The mere presence of such 
a woman is like the hypnotic touch of tender stroking fingers 
driving out care, refreshing the mind, preparing it to resume its 

In all Micaela's life these must have been the happiest years, 
Amat was still a fine specimen of a man, with a shapely leg 
inside his silk stockings, a figure which set off well his embroidered 
jacket and waistcoat, and under their fine lace ruffles his hands 
were not yet aged, while his upturned rolls of grey hair crowned 
the whole man with distinction. True he had lost some teeth, but 
Micaela's admiration of achievement could overlook a mere matter 
of teeth. 

Meanwhile the eighteenth century was advancing toward its 
close. In France the Pompadour had died, the King had replaced 
her with Madame du Barry, and in the Colony of Virginia, Patrick 
Henry was beginning to talk about liberty or death, though few 
yet dreamed of such a thing as freedom for slaves. Still his words, 
like far off thunder, presaged a storm. 

But in Lima it seemed as though life would go on forever as it 



was, "ancha y lenta? a broad leisurely stream of pleasure, with 
gallantry the supreme business of existence. 

Micaela's life in those days seemed cloudless. She knew, 
naturally, that aristocratic Lima detested her, that it would hurt 
her if it could. But what of it? Even the sneer of "chola" could 
not touch her. What did the taunt of "half-breed" matter while 
on the stage she could still fascinate, by her every word, her every 
movement, by her song and her beauty ? After all, in spite of their 
jealousy of her they, too, were her slaves really. 

Surely nothing could ever alter her radiant life. The Viceroy 
had loved her for eleven years. She was not afraid of losing him, 
for he had not so much as listened to the cabal against hex. And 
to the prestige of his patronage, to the glamour of their relation- 
ship, there was added the deep satisfying joy of acting. 

Then, in a moment, she herself shattered her own paradise, as 
the great earthquake had suddenly without warning destroyed 
the Lima she had first known. As quickly, as unexpectedly as 
that, her paradise fell into ruin. 

It happened at the theater. The play was CaldenSn de la Barca's 
Fuego de Di6s en el querer bienl Maza, the impresario, had the 
role of the gallant* Micaela played the lady r&le. 

For some time past she had suspected that Maza was showing 
partiality to a new actress, a certain Inesilla, Now, as Micaela 
was reciting her lines, Maza murmured low in her car: "More 
spirit, woman! More spirit! Inesilla would play it better/' 

Micaela then forgot everything; forgot the audience, the Viceroy 
in his box, everything but the injustice, the insult of Maza r s words* 
And instantly she raised a whip which she carried in her hand, 
and struck Maza across the face. 

The curtain went down upon a house shouting, "To prison with 
her! . , * To prison " 

In his box the Viceroy turned the red of a crab. It was long 
told in Lima, and recorded by Ricardo Palma, that the Viceroy 
was as red as a crab when he left the viceregal box. 

And with his going the perf onnance for that night was aban- 


Terraced streets in the city of Machu Picchu 


So it was that Micaela Villcgas destroyed herself. 

She had done what was to the Viceroy an inexcusable thing; 
she had made a disgraceful scene, and she had been justly hooted 
by the audience. He, the Viceroy, as her lover, felt that the insult 
was his as well as hers. He had ignored the enmity brought upon 
him by his love of her, but, as representative of the King of 
Spain, he could not condone that outrageous scene. Micaela had 
put herself in the wrong. 

Late in the night, when the Viceroy thought that Lima slept, 
he went with a lantern, cautiously through the dark streets to 

"It is all over," he said. "All that has been between us is over. 
And you should be grateful that I don't order you to go tomorrow 
to the theater on your knees to beg pardon of the public," 

And then he said good-by: "Good-by, Perricholi." 

He would have flung at her the scornful taunt, "Perra chold* 
^half-breed bitch." But the words emerged as "Perricholi." 

Afterward it was said that in his anger, what with the absence 
of certain lost teeth, and what with his Catalonian accent, the 
Pcrra chola, the insult he would have hurled out of his sore 
heart, became Perricholi: 

"Adios, Perricholi!" 

So Micaela, who had been the petted actress, La Villegas, came 
to be known as La Perricholi in disgrace with the Viceroy and 
not permitted to appear on the stage of Lima's playhouse. 

'That's the end of her," people said, as the months passed and 
Micaela went no more to the palace and rode no more in the 
Viceroy's retinue. All the best rdles were now Inesilla's. La 
Villegas was forgotten. La Pemcholi was that ignominious thing, 
a fallen favorite. 

Thirteen years the first actress of Lima, eleven years mistress to 
the Viceroy, she was well accustomed to the enmity of the jealous, 
but enmity sweetened with envy is a difierent matter from tri- 
umphant contempt 



And because the bitterness of failure lies much in its effect 
on those most dear to you, Micaela must now have heard with 
agony her mother's voice calling from the balcony to the little 
Manuel: "Qmtate del sol, Nino." . , . "Remember you are not a 

nobody " The familiar words were uttered with a plaintive 

attempt at their former arrogance. And Manuel, Micaela was 
ambitious for him. He was to have been educated, taught Latin 
even; perhaps one day to be a viceroy like his father. 

And always she must suffer the thought that at the theater 
Inesilla was playing her roles, singing her songs. 

The theater was Micaela's life and she had lost ft 

But for her comfort there was Felix, the brother who had never 
failed her. . . . Surely there must often in those days have come 
to her the lines from the hunchbacked poet who had known how 
deep scorn cuts into the soul. 

"Dios no lo da todo a uno. * * . 
Pr6vida naturaleza 
Nubes congda en d vicnto, 
Y repartiendo sus lluvias, 
Riega el arbol mas pcqucno" 

"God does not give all to one* . * 
Beneficent nature 
Gathers into winds the clouds, 
And dispersing the showers, 
Refreshes even the smallest tree/' 

What folly to have believed that God would give all to oacl 
Just because for a time all had seemed to be hers. 

But it was beyond question difficult for one who had been La 
Villegas to become used to being only La Perricholi. 

In her banishment there were inevitably tongues to bring to 
Micada news of the Viceroy. The Viceroy, so these gossips said, 
was much concerned that robbers were grown so bold that nobody 
dared go out at night without sending ahead several slaves 



with lanterns. And Amat had set himself to arrest the whole 
brazen gang. 

However sad of heart he might be, a viceroy could go on with 
his work, but for an actress without a stage, without an audience, 
there was nothing. The days were long without new roles to learn 
and rehearse, the nights were intolerably lonely. Perhaps the 
Viceroy had forgotten. 

Lima buzzed with the Viceroy's prosecution of crime, and then 
it was known that the criminals had been arrested, proved guilty 
and sentenced. 

In the great square then, the convicted were hanged, and the 
women who had been accomplices, their heads shaved, were 
made to walk three times under the gallows, and sent then to 
the prison to receive each fifty lashes. 

The Viceroy was tireless. Now he announced that Lima must 
be properly lighted, and he made it compulsory that a lantern 
should burn all night before the door of every private house, and 
that, at the expense of the shopkeepers, there should be lanterns 
burning on every street-corner. 

Perhaps, Micaela must often have thought, in all this activity 
he had no time in which to miss her. 

But it was not easy to forget Micaela. The theater was not 
the same without her. The palace rooms which she had filled 
with laughter and with the rustle of taffeta were as rooms whose 
light had been put out. Lima itself ... of what use to have 
lanterns burning before every door and at street-corners, when for 
him, the light of it all was gone? 

And then there was Manuel ... he would see his little son. 

Finally thus Amat came to the end of his endurance. Viceregal 
indignation, viceregal pride could no more hold out against his 
longing for Micaela. 

And Amat went back to Micaela. 

"Keep out of the sun, child/' Manuel's grandmother called from 
the balcony; once more the happy number of a Viceroy's titles, 
spinning like a merry-go-round in her brain: Gentleman of His 



Majesty's Bedchamber, Superintendent of the Royal Finances, 
Knight of the Order of San Juan, Lieutenant-General of the Royal 
Armies, His Excellency the Viceroy of Peru, representative of 
the King himself. * . . 

And all this had come back to Miquita, her Miquita, just a 
chola child, born far up in the Sierra. 

Was there ever more noble a sight than the Viceroy stepping 
from the viceregal coach, coming back to Miquita? The very 
dung that his six mules deposited before the door while they 
awaited His Excellency was royal dung. 

But Micaela was thinking of the theater, which was her life, 
explaining to Amat that she must return to the stage. 

She would make the name "La Perricholi" that contemptuous 
gibe which had fastened itself upon hershe would make it as 
brilliant as ever "La Villegas" had been. 

La Villegas that was the past La Perricholi should be the 
shining future. 

But for all her high spirit Micaela came trembling upon the 
stage on the night of her return* Then it was Amat himself who 
cried encouragement from the viceregal box; 

"Courage and sing well!" 

And never in Lima had there been anything like the ovation 
that was La Perricholi's on that night. 

Micaela was intoxicated with the success of the Perricholi. 

There had always been in Lima an unwritten law that only 
the nobility of Castile might ride in coaches drawn by as many 
as four mules; others, no matter what their wealth, must be content 
with a lesser number. And there now came to Micaela the idea 
that she would scandalize this aristocracy by setting up for her- 
self a coach-and-four. The coach should be decorated in gold, 
with panels elegantly painted. Postilions in a livery trimmed with 
silver should mount the mules, and there should be lackeys too, 
also in livery. So would she drive through the streets to the 
dismay of all who had gloated over her humiliation. 



This had been perhaps a fantastic dream, fashioned in an hour 
of despair. Now, down to the smallest detail, it came true. And 
Micaela, in silks and laces and jewels almost as costly as the ward- 
robe of the image of Our Lady of Rosario in the Church of Santo 
Domingo, set forth in her coach-and-four to ride through the 
streets of Lima. 

But there, in the street of San Lazaro, went the Parish priest on 
foot, taking to one who lay dying the last Sacrament the Viati- 
cum. Following the priest was an acolyte with a tinkling bell to 
announce their coming, so that all might fall to their knees in 
homage to the passing of the Host. 

Micaela then felt her heart break that she should ride in the 
pomp of four mules, while the body of Christ was carried in 
humility, and she stopped the coach and ran to the priest begging 
him to take her place in the carriage. 

So, in the end it was the Sacrament that drove in the magnif- 
icence of coach-and-four, while Micaela, her triumph washed in 
tears, followed on foot. 

The coach, its mules, its postilions and lackeys in livery, she 
gave to the Parish, to be used only when the Sacrament was sum- 
moned to the dying. 

The individual life falls into epochs, much as the life of the 
world is separated into centuries; both in turn further redivided 
into smaller units of experience. And now Viceroy Amat was 
being retired; he would go back to Spain for what of time re- 
mained to him on earth. 

And Micaela? People wondered about Micaela. Would she 
go with him? Or why didn't Amat himself remain? He was 
old and had been absent many years from Spain. 

But the Viceroy sailed away forever and Micaela stayed on, 
the famous Perricholi of Lima's theater. Perhaps they both 
realized that what had been between them had gradually faded 
out of existence- And it was not in Amat's nature to live where 
he must see a successor ruling in his stead, while for Micaela it 
was too late to risk establishing herself as an actress in a new 



country. She clung to the city where she had made her place, 
It was better so for them both. 

The fourteen years of their union thus came very quietly to its 
end. Yet, though it passed from the visible and the actual, it 
still survives in the ghost-world of Lima. 

Change was coming, too, to the aging eighteenth century. As 
it approached its close it broke into fragments, as though shattered 
by some missile hurled with deadly aim out of space, destroying 
much that had long been familiar. 

In North America a Revolutionary War had been fought and 
won by Colonies which then formed themselves into the United 
States. In Venezuela a child named Simon Bolivar had been 
born. In France heads were falling under the guillotine. But 
in Lima, beyond the outgoing of one Viceroy and the incoming 
of another, the life-stream flowed still wide and slow. 

The young Manuel de Amat was having his Latin lessons, 
Micaela was playing at the theater, and there was a new actor, 
Don Fermin Vicente de Echarri, who had become her friend. 
She had entered upon a period devoted to the quiet satisfaction of 

While, far away in Barcelona, her old lover, Amat, had amazed 
all who yet had any interest in him by the astonishing fact of 
marrying his niece. 

How old was he? 

Lima computed. Why, he must be nearly eighty. 

Already it seemed long ago that he had madly loved Micaela* 

And when he at last died the news was not important to Lama* 
For he was become merely a romantic tradition. 

Then, in his turn, the Viceroy who had succeeded Amat was 
retired and Ambrose O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno, took his 

Micaela could remember that when she was a girl this O'Higgins, 
a young Irishman, had come to seek his fortune in the New World* 
He had been just a peddler with a stall in the row of shops under 
the Cathedral, a stall and a mule, and Riquera, a young Spaniard, 
for partner. But their business had failed The young Spaniard 



had gone back to Spain, and O'Higgins had ridden his mule down 
into Chile where he had joined the army. 

Amat had been Captain-General of Chile at the time, and he 
had assigned O'Higgins to the task of building stone huts on 
the east and west approaches to the Pass over the Andes, to serve 
as shelter for travelers between Mendoza and Chile. 

Now the foreign peddler O'Higgins was come back to Lima 
as a Marquis and the Viceroy of Peru. How greatly this would 
have astonished Amat! And Riquera who had been his partner 
in that shop under the Cathedral had got himself educated and was 
become Archbishop. They'd been just a couple of itinerant 
peddlers, and were now the greatest men of all South America, 
since Lima was the richest and most important city of the con- 

But her own Manuel, who had had every advantage her money 
could give, was a worthless young sport, hanging forever about the 
women of the town. Micaela sent him to Europe in the parental 
delusion that a far place works miracles, but he returned unaltered 
and she had later to shut him up in a religious reformatory to pre- 
vent his marrying a strumpet, a proceeding which made an un- 
fortunate scandal, for both Manuel and the girl tried to bring 
legal action against her, as is shown in the archives of Lima. But 
really Micaela couldn't let Manuel marry out of his rank like 
that. After all, as her mother used so often to say, he was the son 
of a Somebody. It was a duty to Viceroy Amat to get his son 
properly married. 

Micaela was nearly sixty when she herself finally took on the 
"muy dccente" title of Senora, by marrying her fellow-actor, 
Fermin Vicente de Echarri. It was toward the end of the century 
that she entered this epoch of her life, and with her husband 
signed the lease for a new theater of which together they were to 
be the managers. 

So Micaela's life flows over into the nineteenth century, the 
century of South American independence. She was beginning to 
hear talk of Simon Bolivar and San Martin. People said that 
Bolivar had freed Venezuela and New Granada from Spain, and 



that in Buenos Aires and in Chile San Martin had done the same. 

Strange talk, that would have seemed insane in the time of 
Amat! Slaves, too, it was said had been set free. But strangest of 
all, she, Micaela, had become an old woman. Now after the 
names of so many that she had known, her mind wrote the 
words, "ya difunto" 

The Viceroy, Amat, now defunct. 

Her mother, now defunct. 

Then her husband, also defunct. 

But the brother Felix dear faithful Felix remained. 

Then it seemed to have happened all at once the time came 
when she was too old to act. 

Nothing was now the same, but Felix, and the coach-and-four 
which she had given to the Parish, still passing on its way to 
the dying. 

This new century seemed to move more quickly than the one 
in which she'd been born, for as the time shortens it appears un- 
accountably to speed up. It was hard to believe that Manuel had 
settled down to a proper marriage and that she had a grand- 
daughter, grown already to womanhood. 

Then before Micaela knew where the time had gone she was 
sending for a notary to draw up her Will: 

"In the name of all powerful God, I, dona Micaela Vil- 
legas . . , believing in the mystery of the Holy Trinity . * . 
trusting in our Holy Mother, the Apostolic Church, in whose 
faith I have lived. . , . Begging the intercession of the most 
serene Queen of the Angels, Maria, Holy Mother of God, 
and the intercession of all the Saints of Heaven. . . . 

"And because to die is natural, and it must not find me 
unprepared, I commend my body to the earth and my soul 
to the most precious Blood, Passion and Death of our Re- 
deemer. , . . And when I am dead I would be dressed in the 
habit of the San Franciscans, and have my funeral held in 
the Church of the Recoleci6n ... but with no more than four 
candles, for I would give the cost of pomp to the poor* . * , 

"I bequeath to my brother Jos Felix Vilicgas, for the great 


The tower at Muchu Picchu 


love and affection with which he has served me eight hundred 
dollars, and a room in my house for the rest of his days. . . . 
"Of what remains, two thirds goes to my son, Manuel 
de Amat, and a third to his legitimate daughter, dona 
Toniasa. . . . With my blessing and the benediction of 
God. . . ." 

And now all was ready. But there remained yet three months 
in which life might slowly ebb away: 

"Felix, do you remember?" . . . 

"Miquita, I was thinking of the time that " 

Outside, the street cries told off the hours: 

The tea-womanteas for every ill but that final inevitable 
death, hourly creeping nearer. 

The flower-man: "A garden! A garden! Muchacha, don't 
you smell it?" 

Ice cream and wafers rolled thin. 

Those who went begging alms for the souls in Purgatory. 

Night now, and because of Viceroy Amat, lanterns burn- 
ing before every door and at the street-corners; Amat the first 
to give Lima light throughout the night. . , 

"Felix, do you remember?" . . . 

Then the trotting feet of mules, the rattle of the coach. , * . 
The Sacrament coming in a coach-and-four. . , . Why did it rattle 
like that? . . . The coach, too, was getting old. Yes, of course, 
the coach was old. . . . 

Three years later Captain Basil Hall of His British Majesty's 
ship, Conway, chanced to be in Lima and saw a "great lumber- 
ing old-fashioned coach drive up to the entrance of the Cathedral 
where it received the priest charged with the Host, and then 
moved slowly away to the house of some dying person." 

And in answer to his questions he was told that the coach had 
belonged to a certain Perricholi, a famous actress now dead. It 
was she who had given the coach to the Parish. . . * Oh, it was 
a long time ago that she'd given it 



Across the Pampa 

A CERTAIN Mr. Proctor went out to Lima from England as agent 
of the contractors for a loan just negotiated with Peru. He took 
with him his wife, an infant son, a man-servant and two maid- 
servants. The party shipped to Buenos Aires aboard the Cherub* 
a brig of two hundred and six tons. 

And it was more than a hundred years ago that they set sail. 

King George IV was Proctor's sovereign, and the painter, Dem- 
ing, was doing a portrait of the little four-year-old Princess Vic- 
toria; wearing a vast plumed hat, a fur piece sedately crossed upon 
her bosom, and a very full velvet frock right down to her ankles. 
Pedro The First had just been crowned Emperor of Brazil, 
Thomas Jefferson was approaching the end of life and James 
Monroe was President of the United States, when the brig, 
Cherub, sailed from Gravesend for Buenos Aires, with Proctor and 
his family en route to Lima. 

I eagerly turned the page!* 

This man Proctor was actually to see what my imagination was 
struggling to recreate. He was on his way to the Lima of a cen- 
tury ago. 

The voyage was long; sixty-three days from Gravesend to 
Buenos Aires. Then, from Buenos Aires to Lima there were two 
routes, one by sea around the Horn, the other overland across the 
Cordillera of the Andes into Chile, where the journey was con- 
tinued by boat. There were plenty of people in Buenos Aires to 
describe the discomforts and dangers of the voyage around the 

* Narrative of a Journey across the Cordillera of the Andes and of * Residence in 
ISrna, by Robert Proctor, Esquire. Published 1825, Edinburgh. 



Horn, and plenty of others to say that the trip over the Andes was 
"impossible for females." But after sixty-three days aboard the 
brig Cherub, Proctor fancied the way over the mountains. And, 
after all, there had been previously two Englishwomen who had 
crossed the Cordillera with their children. 

Therefore it was decided to travel by way of the Andes. And 
Proctor began immediately to make preparation, for the Cordillera 
winter was near at hand and there was no time to be lost. 

A carriage must be purchased, for, as Proctor says, there were 
"females to be conveyed." Also there would be needed a cart 
for luggage. The carriage was a light two-wheeled affair, with 
a pole instead of shafts. Each horse carried a postilion, and the 
pole was attached by leather thongs to their saddles. It was ex- 
plained to Proctor that this method prevented the horses* upsetting 
the carriage, "however they might rear and kick." And he was 
advised to take along wine and spirits and biscuits, since on the 
road even the necessities were scarce. 

All other arrangements he might safely leave to the courier 
who, for the sum of a hundred and fifty dollars, would take com- 
plete responsibility for the trip; across the Pampa to Mendoza, 
over the Cordillera, and down to Santiago. Postilions and the 
necessary relays of horses would be provided by him. The 
couriers were under the government and were fully experienced, 
having been, as it were, born and bred upon the road. 

Then, when all was ready, the Proctor family had galloped 
forth from Buenos Aires, bound for Mendoza, at the foot of the 
Andes, a thousand miles away over the level Pampa. 

And at Mendoza they would find General Don Jos de San 
Martin* Proctor carried letters to him. San Martin would be 
able to make clear all that had been happening in Lima. Far 
away in Buenos Aires it was impossible to know what to credit 
and what to reject. 

Quite naturally Proctor was anxious for detailed information. 
He was charged with ratification of the Peruvian loan and with 
the power of drawing for the amount on London. It was of 
importance to him whether the Royalists or the Patriots would 



be in control of Lima when he arrived Much had happened 
that was not easy to understand. But General San Martin who 
was at Mendoza would be able to explain out of personal knowl- 
edge. General San Martin was a remarkable man. To him, 
more than to anyone else, Buenos Aires owed her independence. 
Then he had marched an army right up over the Andes that he 
might help to free Chile from Spain. Later it was San Martin 
who had first carried the word of independence to Peru. 

After that, what had occurred was not clear. The Royalists had 
been driven out of Lima, but now there were rumors that they 
were regaining lost territory. It was known that San Martin had 
gone to Guayaquil to meet and confer with Simon Bolivar; to 
ask his help in Peru, people said. 

But Bolivar had not yet come, and San Martin had left Peru 
and retired to Mendoza. 


Who could explain that but General San Martin himself? 

Proctor would find him in Mendoza, at the foot of the Andes, 
a thousand miles away over the Pampa. 

And San Martin, out of personal knowledge, could explain all. 
Therefore Proctor would reach Mendoza as soon as possible. 
Moreover winter in the Cordillera was coming on. So they had 
galloped out of Buenos Aires* 

They were to cover fifty, sixty, seventy miles a day, depending 
upon the condition of the road, and upon whether or not the ex- 
pected relays of fresh horses were waiting* They were to travel 
all day from early morning, and their nights were to be spent in 

As I turned the pages I had sought some word which would 
make Proctor's wife come alive for me. But not even her name 
was given, 

I would like to know whether she was Ruth or Elizabeth, 
Violet or Isabel or Marjorie. I would know, too, what she looked 
like this woman who so long ago had traveled out from England 
to Lima; whether she was a tall, long-faced blonde, or a bnmcttc, 



small, but not too small, and with the face of a wild rose. The 
more I thought about her, the more persistently she appeared to 
me as the wild rose. And by the time I was convinced of that 
I was sure that her name was Dorothy, because more than a hun- 
dred years later I knew a wild rose British Dorothy Dorothy 
Popenoe who would have undertaken just such a journey of 
hazard and discomfort, in the same gay eager spirit which I felt 
was Mrs. Proctor's; and she also had never found a baby a handi- 
cap. Guatemala and Honduras, the later Dorothy had known 
them well, and when she went from the earth, had left behind 
her, not only a quiver of babies, but a pictorial and a written record 
of her knowledge. 

Erudition I could not bestow upon Mrs. Proctor for it was only 
in spirit that I found a resemblance in her to the Dorothy who 
was my friend. 

My conception of Mrs. Proctor's character was drawn more 
from all the things her husband does not say in his narrative, 
rather than from what he says. I was confident that she loved 
that galloping forth from Buenos Aires, that she was both serene 
and merry, and that she possessed the gift of conveying these 
qualities to others, also that she was resourceful and practical. 
For had all this not been the case Proctor's narrative could never 
have been the carefree chronicle that it is. The scene was set 
for endless trouble. There were, for example, the maid-servants 
who might with good reason have complained every inch of the 
way; and there must not be forgotten the complications that might 
well have arisen from the fact that there were two maid-servants 
and but one man-servant* And how perturbed Mrs, Proctor 
might have been about that infant son, and how much she might 
have grumbled on her own account 

Yet there is in the narrative no hint of any of this. 

As for Proctor himself, I found him a gentleman of integrity, 
observant of detail, conscientiously recording events precisely as 
they occurred, but never seeing around, or beneath or into any- 
thing* I imagined Mrs. Proctor (with that sparkle of humor 



It was obvious that the writer's motive was jealousy. But to 
strike at such a moment, at a time of momentous crisis, when, 
with dangers and difficulties on every side, the General was 
preparing for that conflict which was to decide the fate of all, to 
strike thus was an infamous thing. 

OXeary understood that the blow had gone deep into that 
region of the heart which never forgets. It was the sort of injury 
for which, whatever joyful thing the future may hold, there is 
no healing. 

It has happened, and nothing can ever be done about it. 

There is only to call together what remains, and with that to 
carry on. 

Bolivar thought of Sucre, tireless, selfless, loyal He must write 
to Sucre at once. Sucre must understand that the great final battle 
for liberty was now to be his, and not Bolivar's. The responsibility 
and the glory would be Sucre's. Only he must not fail to realize 
that the Patriots could not afford to lose so much as one battle. 
Any repulse would be fatal. There must be nothing but victory. 
Therefore Sucre must proceed with the greatest caution. And he, 
Bolivar, would forward reinforcements and money. 

In calling upon what remained to him he summoned the 
blessed solace of work. He could still work for the great cause* 
In Lima there was much to be done, and as he traveled back to 
the coast he mustered along the way a thousand additional men, 
as well as supplies and horses; sending them back to Sucre's army 
as it marched over the Sierra in the wake of the retreating Royal- 

Yet all the time there was heavy in Bolivar's heart the unbeliev- 
able fact that command of the Colombian Army had been taken 
from him his own army, the thing he had created, which was 
part of himself* 

It could not be. , , * Yet it was* 

I wondered if at that time he knew, if a letter had come to tell 
him, that Manuelita SScnz was on her way from Quito to Peru* 
But whether he expected her, or whether her arrival was a surprise, 
there she was, meeting him in the village of Haura, on ihc coast 


And often a gaucho pursued his herd, galloping widely across the 
Pampa, his poncho streaming vivid, his lasso, an aerial serpent, 
descending unerringly upon that particular beast which he would 
capture. I can see Mrs. Proctor pointing out these riders of the 
wind to her dumpling of an infant son (he must have been that 
sort of a child), while her husband is methodically recording that 
"the most valued horses to the gauchos are the roan and the pye- 
balled. They do not like black horses." 

Then fertile pasture lands gave place to flat arid country and 
there was a day when the wind was high and the dust thick. Mr. 
Proctor had a bad horse and was five times thrown. In the dense 
dust it was difficult to see or to speak, and Mrs. Proctor must have 
been alarmed waiting for assurance that he had not been injured. 

In that desolate and melancholy country there had been no 
habitation save the wretched post-houses marking oft the land- 
scape into lengths of a day's journey. Sometimes the desolation 
was peopled by herds of small deer which scurried away from 
the noisy approach of the carriage. And there were armadillos 
and lizards, locusts of enormous size, quantities of little bizcochos 
grunting around the underground burrows they share with the 
small grave owls which Mr. Proctor saw standing solemn guard 
at the entrance of the burrows. So much for Mrs. Proctor to point 
out to the child on her lap ! Ostriches, too, the ostrich of the South 
American Pampa, and often gauchos hunting them. 

When there had been rain the country was flooded, and once 
or twice the carriage was mired and they had had to send for 
aid. And it happened that sometimes they found a post-house 
abandoned, and had to drive on to the next to find their relay of 

But Mr. Proctor passes lightly over their disappointment, as 
though no weary females had murmured. 

When they had come again into fertile country the posts were 
better and it was even possible to get eggs and milk. And there 
was a region where the landscape took on the bizarre aspect of 
delirium, because of the native custom of storing grain in the 
hides of oxen; sewed together in pairs, suspended between up-* 



right beams, and stuffed tight with corn; so that the land seemed 
inhabited by a monstrous species of beast, of which, curiously 
enough, none was living. It was a country where grass and 
thistles grew so tall that they might well have nourished gigantic 
beasts. It was a region, Mr. Proctor says, where Indians from the 
north and the south frequently raided the haciendas, murdered 
the inhabitants and carried off their cattle. Near the deserted 
post-house of Barrancas he found the stark fact of vengeance in 
the "perfect but quite dry corpse of an Indian, hanging by his 
wrists in a stunted tree." Mr. Proctor "cut off one of the arms 
and kept it as a curiosity." 

And how did Mrs. Proctor feel about that, I wondered. 

And then I decided that she must have been the sort of woman 
who accepts her man as he is. 

He was her man, that was enough. Still, it is possible that she 
did object a little for Mr, Proctor comments, "after all, it has no 

The fact of the arm led me to speculation about the female 
servants. I concluded that they couldn't have been Irish, or 
Welsh, or even Scotch, or they would have had qualms about 
traveling in company with the arm of an Indian who had been 
hanged to a wayside tree. There were dangers enough in the 
visible world, they would have felt, without inviting the Lord 
knows what from the spirits. The master might have been better 
occupied than cutting the arm off a dead Indian. 

But even though they were apparently without superstition 
they must have been glad that as they neared Mendoza the post- 
houses were larger, and gayer, with grog-shops where the gauchos 
came to drink and to gamble. It must have been cheering to see 
some life even though it were the life of what they would have 
called barbarians; barbarians in red ponchos with knives at their 
belts. It was something for any woman to watch men like this; 
to see them stick these knives into the counter of the bar, as a 
pledge that there was to be no blood over the game; or to sec them 
when in anger they forgot the pledge and fenced fiercely with 
the great knives, as though they had been foils- 


The lofty sundial at Machu Picchu 


Truly these were men! In the eyes of mistress and maid alike. 
And how they could ride! Why, they thought it nothing to be 
able to pick up a dollar from the ground at full gallop! 

Sometimes they would bring their women with them to the 
post-house. Creatures less savage than the men, and full of 
curiosity about the dress of this Mrs. Proctor and her female ser- 
vants. Did they have things for sale? And if there was nothing 
for sale, why were they traveling through the country? 

Often at the post-houses there would be someone who played 
the guitar. And to music which spoke of the desolate melancholy 
beauty of the Pampa, Mrs. Proctor must often have fallen asleep. 

Sitting under a green-shaded light in Room 300 of the New 
York Library, I had thus turned the pages, forming my picture of 
Mrs. Proctor of her little son and her maid-servants. 

And then at last I had come to a paragraph in Mr. Proctor's nar- 
rative which proved me right in at least one of my conjectures. 

Crossing a wide plain, Mr. Proctor saw in the distance the en- 
campment of a caravan of mules, and rode over to investigate. 
They were carrying wine from Mendoza to Buenos Aires; red 
wine, a cask of it balanced on each side of every mule. Securing" 
some of the wine Proctor went with his prize at full speed to 
rejoin his own party, and from the summit of a ridge of rolling 
ground he saw with anxious dismay that the carriage had been 

His wife, his infant son, the two maid-servants. * * . What had 

Spurring on his horse he dashed forward, to find when he pulled 
in his breathless animal that his females were making very merry 
together over the accident, and that no one was hurt* 

Yes, I had known she was like that; glad of heart and with 
the gift of imparting her gladness to others* 

At Mendoza 

The Proctors had been twenty days on the road whea they 



saw rising up before them the stupendous wall of the Andes, so 
high that to look up at the snowy peaks it was necessary to 
strain their necks. Staring up at those prodigious mountains 
it must have seemed to them incredible that they could ever cross 
over into Chile. They must have had to remind themselves again 
of those two English women who, with their children, had safely 
made the journey. 

Now, as they neared Mendoza, at the foot of the mountains, 
the post-houses had become more comfortable; luscious Muscatel 
grapes were hung from the beams, and all about were vineyards 
and fields of verdant clover. 

And finally there was Mendoza itself, its domes and spires 
shining among the trembling green of poplar trees. 

A thousand miles of Pampa lay behind them, a mosaic of 
memories; wide horizons drawing a circle about a fiat world, 
where gauchos galloped, whirling the sinuous writhing coils of 
rope which at their will lassoed cattle and horses and ostriches; 
the Pampa punctuated with post-houses, gauchos there too, stick- 
ing their knives in the counter of the bar, drinking, gambling, 
fighting, sometimes singing to the soft twanging of a guitar; 
sleep then, and another long day's journeying over the wild free 
Pampa; and once an Indian, hung by his wrists in a low scrubby 
tree "quite dry, no odour." 

And now at last Mendoza. 

There the Proctors were guests at the house of an English 
"medical gentleman," What a change from the post-houses on 
the road! It would be good to rest there for a few days. 

A traveler just come down over the Pass had reported the first 
snowfall, and the Proctors were counseled to allow time for this 
to melt before going on. It seemed that before the Cordillera 
winter actually set in, there were these preliminary falls of snow. 
And while they waited for it to melt Mr. Proctor could be making 
the necessary preparations for their journey. 

The traveler had brought news that Lord Cochranc, 
Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Navy, had been invited by 
the Emperor, Pedro, to take charge of the Navy of Brazil, and 



that some weeks ago Cochrane had sailed around the Horn- 
bound for Rio de Janeiro. Also the traveler brought a rumor that 
the Royalists were about to regain possession of Lima. 

Because of this, Proctor was impatient: he must get on as soon 
as possible to Lima. But to occupy his impatience there were the 
preparations and the letters which he must present to General San 

Of course everyone in Mendoza knew General San Martin. 
They called him the Lion of the Andes because he had led an 
army over the Pass. Now the Lion had come back and settled 
down on an estate not far from the town. Why had he left 
Peru just when he did? Naturally Mr. Proctor wanted to know. 

As to that, people explained, the General himself said that his 
part was over when he had delivered to Peru the great message 
of independence. That done, he would leave the future conduct 
of the country in the hands of its citizens. He would not have 
any accuse him of scheming for the power of dictatorship. His 
youth, he reasoned, had been given to Spain; his middle years 
to the cause of independence for the South American colonies; his 
old age he wished to spend as he pleased. 

Now, on his hacienda, they said, he was making many improve- 
ments, and in Mendoza he had established a library and a school. 
And he was making plans for his daughter. His wife had died 
gone like his youth and his middle years. He would take his 
daughter to Europe for her education; to Miss Phelps' English 
school at Brussels. Then he would travel; visit his friend, Lord 
Fife, in Scotland, and William Miller's mother at Canterbury. 

Of all that unhappy business in Lima the General seemed to 
speak with reticence. It was known that Lord Cochrane blamed 
him; had Martin had a stronger policy, he said, the Patriots might 
not be now in danger of losing what they had gained. But 
others thought the General a hero. He had left Peru, they argued, 
because he had felt that only Sim6n Bolivar could bring victory 
to the Patriots, and that Bolivar would not share with any the 
glory of that achievement* Therefore San Martin had with- 
drawn. Also, it was believed that they had differed in opinion: 



San Martin had favored a monarchy for Peru, ruled by some Euro- 
pean prince, and that against such an idea Bolivar had been ever- 
lastingly opposed. 

But these matters, freely gossiped about in Mendoza, San Martin 
himself seemed reluctant to discuss. 

At Mendoza there would also have been many to explain to the 
Proctors the causes of the furious struggle to free South America 
from Spanish domination. "Spain was to be great," they said, 
"at our expense. It was money that they wanted of us, always 
more money. Do you know that they forced Spanish goods on 
us at their own price? We were not to traffic with foreign na- 
tions; not even with other Spanish- American colonies! And we 
were not to grow anything that would compete with what was 
grown in Spain. As for the Indians hundreds of thousands have 
died in the mines to supply the gold that Spain demanded. Spain 
was ruining us and at the same time scorning us as Creoles* 

"Some years ago there was an Indian of the royal family who 
rose up, calling himself Tupac Amaru II. He had tried in every 
way to help his people without bloodshed, and then he rose 
up. ... But in the square of Cuzco they tore him to pieces. Yes, 
literally tore him to pieces* What they did to him there, and to 
his wife and his children, and many others of his followers, is 
too horrible to be told. We heard about it here because they sent 
asking troops to help put down the revolt. And this that hap- 
pened in Cuzco was so dreadful a thing that it helped to rouse the 
Peruvians to independence. 

"But all this you will hear when you get to Lima. . . ," 

And at Mendoza, the Proctors would have been told something, 
too, of the sort of life which they themselves would live beyond 
the towering mountain wall, and something of the people they 
would meet. 

It was a pity that Lord Cochrane was gone to Brazil Things 
would not be so gay without Lady Cochrane, No one who had 
been present at their arrival in Chile would ever forget it. Lord 
Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald, with his spectacular record 
in the British Navy had come out to organize and command the 



Navy of Chile. Matchless, intrepid Lord Cochrane! Valparaiso 
had made him a welcome that none could forget. And he had 
given in return a great banquet where he had presided in the full 
regalia of a Scottish chief. 

And after that what a place Valparaiso had been while San 
Martin and Lord Cochrane had been preparing for the expedition 
to free Peru, for they had agreed that with Spain ruling in Peru 
there could be no safety for a Republic in Chile. Peru also must 
be free. And while they were organizing this expedition, Val- 
paraiso had been gay; every day a picnic, or a ball, a dance, or a 
dinner. Fascinating Lady Cochrane had loved all this. She and 
the Chilean wife of Commodore Blanco had been the very heart 
of it; each beautiful, each supreme in her own type. 

Now, perhaps, life would be less brilliantly gay. But there re- 
mained many whom the Proctors would enjoy knowing; Captain 
Basil Hall of his Majesty's ship, Conway, cruising up and down 
the coast in the interest of British trade and the rights of British 
subjects. True, the Conway might, by this time, have been ordered 
elsewhere, but certainly they would meet their countryman, 
Colonel William Miller (there was talk now of his being made a 
brigadier general). Born in England at Wingham in the County 
of Kent, he'd been a soldier in the service of his own sovereign 
until there was peace. Then he'd come out to Buenos Aires full 
of enthusiasm for the struggle of the Americans against Spain. 
He'd come out six years before in the year that San Martin had 
marched the army over the Pass into Chile, 

Everyone liked Miller. He'd been popular when he was in 
Mendoza: a young man, tall and good-looking and very fond of 
parties; especially the big Sunday gatherings when people rode 
in from the haciendas to dance and sing and play at forfeits. And 
in Chile it had been the same; everyone had liked William 
Miller. San Martin was devoted to him. 

So, in its delight at the arrival of new ears, would Mendoza 
have immediately poured out the story. 

And then the Proctors met San Martin. 



"He often joined us without ceremony," Proctor writes, 
"and amused us much by his interesting anecdotes. ... He 
had a happy method of relating them; his features animated, 
especially when conversing of past events/' 

In this talk of the past, San Martin must certainly have ex- 
plained to Mr. Proctor, as he had to Captain Hall of the Conway, 
the methods he had used for the winning of independence in 
Peru. He could not fail to be anxious that Proctor, sent out to 
Lima on the important matter of the loan, should understand. , . . 

"The contest in Peru," he would have explained, "was not of 
an ordinary description; not a war of contest and glory, as I saw 
it, but entirely a war of opinion; a war of new and liberal prin- 
ciples against prejudice, bigotry and tyranny. 

"People used to ask why I didn't march to Lima at once; so I 
might have, and instantly would, had it been suitable to my views, 
which it was not. I did not want military renown. I wanted 
solely to liberate Peru from oppression. Of what use would 
Lima have been to me if the inhabitants had been hostile in 
political sentiment? ... I did not choose to advance a step beyond 
the gradual march of public opinion. 

"Thus, patiently, I brought about the Royalist evacuation of 

As to what had happened since, Proctor must see for himself. 

But the talk could not have been all serious, for according to 
Captain Hall "San Martin could be playful when that was the 
tone of the moment." He could turn from "that flashing energy 
with which he spoke of those political matters close to his heart, 
and he would then enchant his listeners with stories of his past:" 

So long and varied a past; Paraguay where he was born, that 
Spain which had claimed his youth, South America again, and 
the great dream of independence. 

How was it that Miller had put it? 'The object of the Inde- 
pendence," Miller had said was to "assure the political existence 
of a vast continent and to ascertain whether or not the time had 
yet arrived when the influence of South America upon the rest 



of the world should be rendered commensurate with its extent, 
its riches and its situation." 

Ah, but that was getting serious again 

Perhaps now Mrs. Proctor might be interested in the story of 
an extraordinary old dame who owned an hacienda near to Lima. 
It might be that Mr, Proctor would meet her. When he San 
Martin had been in Lima this lady had come asking him for a 
safe conduct pass. She wanted to go to Pisco. Owing to the up- 
set conditions of the revolution, there was a shortage of Pisco 
brandy in Lima, and it was the old lady's idea that she would 
take a matter of fif ty mules, go to Pisco, buy brandy at something 
like eight dollars a jar and return to sell it in Lima. If she could 
get in ahead of other speculators she might sell her brandy for 
as much as eighty dollars the jar. 

The lady and her mules had turned up near Pisco at just the 
moment when Miller was direly needing transport animals. He'd 
pressed her mules into service, told her the emergency was great 
and that he could not respect the General's safe conduct papers. 
She'd called him "a wretch who could never hope to reach the 
gates of heaven"; she'd gone further and said he was the "very 
devil himself." 

But Miller had calmly appropriated the mules. Then, vowing 
not to let her beasts out of her sight, she'd gone along with the 
army, in pursuit of the Royalists, There wasn't a man who could 
manage a horse better, and not a muleteer who could beat her 
throwing the lasso. She'd ridden beside Miller through long 
exhausting marches, riding astride and wearing big silver spurs. 
You'd have thought she'd passed her whole life in the army. Now 
she said she didn't give a whistle about the brandy, or whether 
she ever got her mules back, provided only the Patriots put the 
Royalists to rout. Miller said she had a voice like a boatswain's, 
and that she'd shout encouragement to the men, until the desert 
rang with her words. 

When it was over, and the Royalists driven back from the coast, 
Miller returned her mules and offered to pay for their use, but 
she wouldn't accept a penny. 



And a year later Miller heard that the lady had willed her 
hacienda to him! 

A remarkable woman! Perhaps Mrs. Proctor would meet her, 
for die hacienda was near to Lima. 

Ah, there were so many stories ! It was a pity the Proctors were 
going on so soon to Lima. 

After these days in Mendoza Lima must have taken on for the 
Proctors the color of reality. 

But, barring the way, there stood the Andes. 

And in Mendoza there were not only stories of Lima, but of 
the Andes. Travelers who had met death on the desolate sum- 
mits were reported to haunt their unburied bones, and there were 
also the demons of the mountains. Things happened up there 
that you couldn't explain. 

Yes, but remember the two Englishwomen with their chil- 
dren. . . . 

Over the Cordillera 

The number of mules, Mr. Proctor says, were thirteen, and it 
was necessary to take everything that would be needed; beds, 
blankets, provisions, cooking utensils as along the way there 
would be nothing. All must be foreseen in advance. As for the 
transportation of the females, they were to ride> he explains, 
"upon pillions with straps to support the back; the women sat 
with legs hanging down and resting their feet on a small board 
attached to the saddle. And the infant rode in the areas of a 
mounted peon." 

In this fashion they set out from Mendoza to surmount the 

I could fancy Mrs. Proctor again reminding the maid-servants 
that two Englishwomen with children had once made the journey. 

Proctor had perhaps been too impatient to get under way to 
dwell upon the difficulties. His mind was heavy with the re- 
sponsibility of ratification of the loan to Peru and with fear of the 
delay which might be caused by snow on the Cordillera. Travelers, 


The peak above Mnchu Picchu 


he knew, had been forced sometimes to spend the winter in 
Mendoza because of snow in the high Passes. And then the 
Lord only knew what might at that moment be happening in 
Lima! Every hour's delay might mean that he would find the 
Patriots the revolutionaries deposed, and the Royalists in 

But now at last he saw his expedition ride out of Mendoza. 

They spent the first night at a farm, only six miles from the 
town, and from there made a very early start the next morning, for 
they must that day cover forty miles. 

The road for some distance skirted the edge of mountains, 
barren, sandy and hot, with not a tree to give shade. It passed 
then over rugged ground piled with stones; a wearying road for 
beasts and men. 

In the late afternoon they entered the Sierra and began to climb, 
winding up and up between two high ridges until they came 
to water, to a brook where at last they could drink, could moisten 
lips parched in the high dry air. But it was dusk before they 
reached the hut where they were to stop for the night. 

"The females," Mr. Proctor says, "were so wearied as scarcely 
to be able to walk, besides being stiff with the falls of which they 
had several during the day." The little boy, however, bore it re- 
markably (I'd known from the beginning that that child was a 
happy dumpling of an infant!) "and at the end of the day did not 
even wish to quit the peon who carried him," 

The rest were too fatigued to eat, too exhausted to do more than 
take reviving drinks of hot white Mendoza wine and get at once 
into bed* 

Again, on the following day the mules climbed, the mountains 
ever more and more precipitous, and Proctor increasingly admir- 
ing the sagacity of mules. 

And at that page I had ceased for a moment to read; meditating 
myself upon the wisdom of mules. If there is any earthly creature 
of which it may be said that he is always right, that creature is a 
mule. If you might say of a man that he was strong of body, and 



o an industrious energy; that he never took a step without weigh- 
ing the conditions, testing the feasibility, assuring himself pru- 
dently in advance; that once having made a decision he then 
proceeded with confidence however hazardous the way; that he 
was sure of himself and not to be turned aside; then, if all this 
were true, you would have described a superman, a man fitted to 
live, to survive all others, to triumph. 
Yet this describes the merely average mule. 

"The mules [my mind had returned to Mr. Proctor's page], 
the mules stopped frequently to look how they could best 
avoid a chasm or reach a rock on the other side. Standing 

firmly on their hind legs and trying with their fore feet 

After winding in this manner for a few hours, the valley was 
closed by a mountain, and the road struck to the right, up 
the face of the range." 

(Oh, I knew it would do just that!) 

"The road," Proctor resumes, "struck to the right, up the 
face of the range. The ascent was accomplished by a zig- 
zag pathway worn by the feet of mules in the shape of a stair- 
case the animals' heads all turning different ways as they 
were passing different angles of the road." 

At the end of that day there was a miserable hut for travelers 
where the Proctors spread their beds in a shed, hanging up all 
the blankets they could spare, as windbreaks. 

And the day after that was one of those days which, as you look 
ahead, appear impossible, 

A tremendous snow-crowned mass blocked the way, but the 
mules descended into the dry bed of a river which in the rains 
was furious enough to have cut a great chasm through which it 
might rush unfrustrated. Beneath a sun which parched and 
blistered, the mules followed the path of this river, the trail wind- 
ing up and down, sometimes no more than fifteen inches wide, 
the mountainside falling steeply away hundreds of feet below* the 



path at times so precarious that it was necessary to dismount and 
lead the mules. 

"The situation of the traveller," Proctor explains, "if not 
dangerous, is certainly extremely awful. Below is the preci- 
pice . . . above, the mountain, in many places overhanging, 
and consisting of such loose substances that the traveller is 
fearful lest they give way and overwhelm him. Small wooden 
crosses stuck in the side of the mountain, here and there, tell 
the fate of some poor wretch thus destroyed." 

And all the time the Proctors' mules, mule-fashion, kept to the 
very edge of the trail, remembering that if the burdens they 
carried should strike against the mountain, they would be dashed 
down into the great gaping abyss on the other side. 

When this perilous day had at last come to an end the Proctors 
spread their beds close to a roaring torrent. The muleteers 
made a fire of the dried dung collected along the way. Arrow- 
root gruel was prepared for the small son, slices of boiled beef were 
fried, and in a ketde there was brewing that comforting fragrant 
drink of white Mendoza wine. The muleteers drank mat tea 
and smoked. And all about towered black peaks pointed with 
snow. And a bright moon shone down upon the tethered beasts, 
upon the group around the fire, while, in the shadows, their beds 

"And thus," Proctor says, "we spent the evening pretty 
merrily, our eyes every now and then directed to the stu- 
pendous mountains, reclining calmly in the light of the moon." 

And the strange exaltation of such evenings following upon 
such days, I also was to know, ever so many years after Proctor 
had gone to his grave: so that as I read what he had written 
memory and experience wrote between his lines a second book, 
fragments of which have now and then insisted upon being set 
down on these pages where, with the Proctors as my companions, 
I journeyed into the century of independence in Peru. 



The Proctors had left Mendoza on the fourteenth of April, and 
on the fifteenth had begun the ascent of the Cordillera, continued 
on the seventeenth, and early on the morning of the eighteenth 
had arrived at the second of the Passes which lead up to the 
cumbre the Great Pass. On either side of the cumbre, at inter- 
vals of a day's journey there was to be found in those days (be- 
fore Pan-American airplanes flew travelers over the "hump,") a 
small stone hovel raised twelve feet from the ground, to lift it 
out of the depth of possible snowfall; one of those huts which 
Ambrose O'Higgins had built at the order of Perricholi's Viceroy, 

At the second Pass the Proctors slept in another of these hovels, 
and in the morning their water jars were frozen three inches 

It was on the following day that they came to hot springs where 
they stripped the infant son and bathed him in a natural stone 
basin in the top of a mountain-cone. It was on that day, too, that 
they came upon the bones of an Englishman, murdered two years 
before, and on that day also that they crossed the cumbre. 

At the foot of the ascent they made lunch, taking plenty of 
onions and wine as a preventive against the mountain-sickness 
of the Andes- And then, remounting, they arrived at the Pass, 
after a two hours' climb up a staircase cut in the steep face of the 
range. They arrived, without sickness and in the "highest spirits," 

And at the summit they paused: 

"Behind, nothing but the valley we had left, at an immeasur- 
able depth, dismal and solitary. Above, on each side, craggy 
peaks, snow covered. Before, the view dreary and unpromis- 
ing. Enormous black mountains, barren and savage* The 
descent appeared to lead only to a gloomy pit, down to a road 
to look at which almost made us giddy* The wind was pierc- 
ing, the air cold, our lips swollen." 

They had paused, and had then begun the descent, painful and 
dizzy, down the stony slope, until finally the trail had dropped 
to where vegetation began timidly to show itself; cactus 



with scarlet flowers, and then willows and blossoming vines. 

They had come over the Cordillera, and into Chile. 

Now to future women travelers it might be said in Mendoza 
at the foot of the Andes in the east, and in Santiago, at the foot 
of the range in the west: "Oh, yes, it is possible. There were the 
two Englishwomen with their children. . . . And just the other 
day there was Mrs. Proctor, with an infant son and a couple of 
maid-servants. Oh, yes, it is possible; difficult, but possible*" 


Eventually the Proctors arrived at Callao, Lima's seaport, toward 
the end of May, after a voyage of ten days from Valparaiso aboard 
the East Indiaman, Medway. And from Callao they traveled to 
Lima in a carriage, seven miles over a wide busy road, crowded 
with carriages and horsemen and droves of mules. The carriages 
were of brilliant color, painted blue with red wheels, the decora- 
tion gold, and the lining of yellow silk. Men on horseback were 
in ponchos, sometimes gaily striped, sometimes rich with em- 
broidery, the stirrups were heavy, of carved wood or silver, the 
spurs enormous, the hats of white fiber. Negro muleteers, under 
vast brimmed hats, seated atop mules, their long naked legs hang- 
ing almost to the ground, cracked whips and shouted directions 
and curses to lines of animals burdened with barrels of flour 
from North America, bales of silks and cottons from India and 
China, of tobacco from Guayaquil, sugar from the north coast, and 
huge eighteen-gallon jars of brandy from Pisco- And all stirring 
up a fine haze of dust. 

About a mile from Lima the Alameda came out to meet the 
travelers, with its paved road twenty yards wide, bordered by 
four rows of feathery willows, and at the end the three arches of 
the main gate into the city. 

The Proctors* carriage drove through the gate, and past houses 
with great studded doors and grilled windows, the plaster of the 
outer walls often adorned with fresco paintings, with everywhere 
the steeples and domes of churches, convents and monasteries, and 
in the streets cowled priests and mysterious, hooded ladies. 



They found the town preparing for a ball, the Patriots still in 
power, and the natives of Buenos Aires living in Lima, giving a 
ball on the anniversary of their own independence. 

Lima, like a woman by nature of gay heart, never lost for long 
her gift of joy. "Ah," the Limenians used to say to Captain Hall 
of His Majesty's ship Conway, "ah, before the revolution our city 
was that in which pleasure held court; wealth and ease were our 
attendants. Enjoyment was our only business, and we dreamed of 
no evil but an earthquake." 

So Lima was now making ready for a ball, though the shadow 
of capture by the Royalists grew every day darker. 

After the coming of San Martin the Viceroy had set up his 
capital in the far interior at Cuzco, but there were persistent rumors 
that any day he was making ready to attack. 

Yet, here was Lima dancing at a great patriotic ball, and Proctor 
commenting on the decorations, the regimental band, the con- 
fectionary, the fashions, the distinquished personages on whose 
chests shone San Martin's Order of the Sun, the speeches and toasts 
and the elegance of the Spanish dances. 

A week later Proctor obtained the formal ratification of the 
loan, and now his duties were concerned with drawing for the 
amount on London; whatever that may mean. 

Meanwhile Lima Lima refused still to be uneasy. Simon 
Bolivar would, of course, come to drive the Spaniards out of all 
Peru, as San Martin had driven them out of Lima. Already there 
was talk of a fiesta in Bolivar's honor. 

Of course when Bolivar came, then the Godos (as the Patriots 
contemptuously nicknamed the Royalists) would be easily and 
completely vanquished. But within six days there was a report 
that up in the mountains the Godos were moving. The Patriots 
would not believe it. ... It couldn't be possible that die Godos 
were coming before Bolivar arrived to defeat them. 

Bolivar had previously sent to the aid of Lima Colombian 
troops under General Sucre. But why didn't he come himself? 
Why did he insist that he had to wait for permission from the 



Colombian Congress? He was President of Colombia; why 
couldn't he act without authorization ? 

And further dispatches were sent urging the necessity for his 

Then in six days more, it was certain that the Godos had ad- 
vanced to within seventy-five miles. William Miller (a general 
now) was sent with eighty dragoons along the road which they 
must follow down from the Cordillera, and preparations were 
made for defense: the Colombian regiments were stationed in one 
quarter, the Chileans in another, while those of Buenos Aires 
garrisoned the forts at Callao. 

General Miller took his dragoons out, and the government gave 
orders to pack and send everything to Callao, Private families 
did the same, and the sick troops were moved from the hospital. 

"Congress must now dissolve itself," people said. 

But still there were Patriots who could not yet believe in the 
return of the Royalists. 

And Bolivar remained in Ecuador awaiting his country's per* 
mission to join in the Peruvian campaign. 

The Proctors had been just two weeks in Lima when General 
Miller sent word that the Royalist army was advancing. 

Now, even the most sanguine were perturbed. 

Mules and horses . . * everybody wanted mules and horses to 
take them to safety in Callao, or up the coast to Trujillo. But the 
government had commandeered what animals there were. Mr. 
Proctor, notwithstanding his official capacity as agent for the 
London loan, could not get mules; he must wait until the govern- 
ment effects had been taken to Callao. 

And still the Congress argued, until there was sounded the 

"Ya cstdn los Godosl" 

There was no contesting the fact. The Royalists were arrived. 

Then at last the Congress surrendered its power to the Presi- 
dent And on the next day Proctor received a license for forty 

Three weeks in Lima, and now Mrs. Proctor was making ready 



to flee, gathering together what things they would need in Callao 
and what they must attempt to save from the probable sacking of 
the city. Mules came jostling and pushing into the patio, and 
while they were being loaded Proctor had the doors locked to 
keep out the mob. Again the females were stowed away in a 
carriage and again Proctor rode beside them on horseback. 

The road, so busy with trade and travel when they had arrived, 
was now jammed with the terrified inhabitants of Lima, carrying 
with them what they could. 

Callao was crowded and thousands more were on their way. 
Every arcade in the seaport was converted into a dwelling, by 
hanging matting between the arches, and along the beach there 
were rows and rows of huts made of matting attached to poles 
driven into the sand. 

Afraid of pestilence in the overcrowded town Proctor moved 
his family out to the East Indiaman Mcdway, in which they had 
come up from Valparaiso. And, anchored in the harbor, they 
saw the transport arrive bringing six hundred soldiers sent down 
from Guayaquil by Bolivar. 

But Bolivar himself why did he not come? 

Bolivar, General Sucre said, still awaited the consent of the 
Congress in Bogota. 

It was decided to send a force south to keep back Royalists forces 
in that direction, and the Mcdway was chartered to transport 

The Proctors then transferred to the Harlcston, another East 
Indiaman lying in the harbor of Callao. From its decks they 
could see the forts on land and the mountain ranges rising back 
of Lima. Sea-birds flew up and down the coast, to and fro from 
their guano-white islands; shrilly crying, if that was the nature of 
their species, or if they happened to be pelicans, passing in a 
majestic silence. It was June, and the soft grey mist of the Lima 
winter lay often upon the land and the water. 

The Congress and the President moved the government to 

The Royalists had entered Lima. 


"La Pcrricholi" 


If Bolivar would come, people said, even yet, by the very magic 
of his prestige, they might be saved. 

Proctor, leaving his family living aboard the Harleston, went 
north to Trujillo, there to confer with the fugitive government. 
When he returned, five weeks later, the Royalists had left with 
their booty, feeling themselves not at the time strong enough to 
remain at the risk of possible attack from the Patriots in Callao, 
nor sufficiently prepared to advance against the forts of the seaport. 
When they had gone Lima's inhabitants had returned to their 
homes, and those members of the Congress who had not moved 
to Trujillo had elected another President: so that there were in 
Peru two Presidents and two Congresses, one at Trujillo and 
another at Lima. 

And Proctor transferred his family from the Harleston to the 
apartment of a friend leaving Lima for England. 

The house was the usual two-story quadrangle built around a 
patio. The Proctors had the section on the right while the owners 
occupied the opposite side and the part which faced the great 
entrance doors. The colonnade surrounding the patio was gilded 
and painted, and the lofty rooms enormous, 

At last Mrs. Proctor could establish a home. And there she 
came to know Lima's way of life in the century of independence, 
sharing as she did thus intimately with the owners one of the city's 
great houses. 

She found that the early breakfast was of chocolate and rolls, 
and that to occupy the morning hours there were Masses in the 
various churches. The streets were then full of women whose 
slaves followed a few paces behind carrying the rugs on which 
their mistresses would kneel, for there were no pews in the 
churches. And when they walked in the streets the ladies of Lima 
went shrouded in black mantos which covered them, like dom- 
inoes, from the waist up, while from waist to ankles they wore 
the say a which Proctor says "showed a good shape in the most 
exciting manner." 

But for the fact that the manto completely enveloped its wearer 



above the waist, enclosing the arms, shrouding the head and face, 
leaving exposed just one bright eye, the say a might not have been 
so devastatingly exciting. For it was perhaps this contradiction be- 
tween the two garments that was so irresistibly provocative that 
for long before the costume was abandoned, it was hotly opposed 
by the clergy. 

The manto ostensibly represented what the Church held as the 
ideal of womanhood, pious modesty hurrying to morning Masses. 
It was in a sense a cloister behind which a woman might live 
apart from the world. But it was also a disguise, a mask, making 
recognition almost impossible, difficult even for those to whom 
a woman was most intimately known. It kept all secrets, and 
therefore granted freedom as well as modesty. 

As for the saya it mocked at any virtuous pretensions on the 
part of the manto, for the saya revealed everything* It fitted the 
figure as a stocking fits a leg, and as it approached the ankle it 
narrowed until it allowed barely space in which to take a mincing 
step. (Mr. Proctor thought it produced a "wanton gait") And 
beneath the saya the astonishingly small feet of the Lima women 
tripped in satin shoes, their ankles clothed in silk stockings. 

It was a costume that could be executed simply and cheaply as 
well as in the finest materials. The poor woman's saya might 
be of plain stuff in black or brown, the woman of wealth would 
have it made of satin, the frivolous would trim it to the knees with 
embroidery, or with rows of pearls, or deep lace flounces: though 
the woman of aristocratic elegance preferred it in plain black 
satin, laid in innumerable fine pleats. 

The manto was always of a light but impenetrable black fabric, 
gathered on a cord about the waist, with an opening left in 
front. It was worn turned up over the head, and inside, one 
hand held the opening closed, leaving visible only a single glow- 
ing, luminous black eye. If a woman had pretty hands and 
bright jewels she might permit the fleeting glimpse of a hand, 
and sometimes she would let a brilliant bit of scarf or shawl 
flutter through the opening in her manto. 

The combination was perhaps the most sensational dress that 



women ever wore. During the years when it was the mode no book 
descriptive of Lima fails to mention it. Every visitor, however 
serious his business in Peru, has something to say of the saya-y~ 
manto. Captain Basil Hall was impressed. The brave soldier, 
General William Miller who led cavalry and won battles, who 
knew how to suffer as well as how to fight, whose body carried 
to its grave twenty-two wounds, he, too, took the trouble to set 
down a detailed description of the saya-y-manto in the Memoirs 
which his brother compiled from letters which he sent back to 
England in those ten years when he was in the service of the 
Republic of Peru. 

Of course you would expect Miller to be interested, for he had 
always an eye for the feminine; for the "fairy grace of Lady 
Cochrane," and the "fascinating beauty" of Senora Blanco. Did 
not the woman at Mendoza who had danced the minuet in her 
riding habit appear in his Memoirs? And after all was it not a 
woman who, by saying, "Were I a young man, I would never 
abandon a career of glory for a career of gain," had influenced him 
in his decision to join the army of Independence? 

Other writers, too, were concerned about the saya-y-mantos of 
Lima, for Robert Burford, in a prosaic description of the city, 
digresses a hundred years ago to write of the feminine costume 
of the streets of Lima: 

"It will be long/' he says, "before a disguise so well adapted 
to intrigue will be relinquished. . . . The saya defines the 
contour of the figure to the best advantage, distinctly showing 
the muscular play of the body and limbs and the rich fullness 
of person for which the women of Lima are celebrated. , . . 
The manto is so complete a disguise that the wearer goes 
wherever and does whatever she pleases without fear of de- 
tection. Ladies of the first rank will sometimes disguise 
themselves in the meanest soyas." 

And writing a century ago the English physician, Dr. Archibald 
Smith, practicing medicine in Lima, and the Lady Emmeline 



Stuart Wortley, an effervescent globe-trotter of her day, both 
have much to say of the devastating saya-y-manto. 

Thus attired, women once passed through the streets of Lima, 
never to be forgotten by any who saw them; gay, pious, ad- 
venturous, mysterious. They made history, these masked women: 
their soft-voiced influence was felt in courts of justice, in politics, 
in diplomacy, and on the fields of battle. 

And in yet another way they were unique. Dr. Archibald 
Smith who, as a physician, saw them more intimately than any 
who have described them, found that there was among them an 
esprit de corps which seems never to have existed between women 
elsewhere in the world: 

"The greatest sinner among them," he says, "is never left 
without a gentle voice to plead her cause* This forgiving 
system runs through every class and rank from the highest 
to the lowest, but it is in lofty circles that its influence is most 
worthy of particular notice. No one ventures to throw the 
first stone at the unfortunate; and there insensibly arises a 
gradation of vices and virtues, dove-tailed into each other, 
so as to constitute a social whole, wherein the different degrees 
of moral deviation, are all shared by an overwhelming 

Overwhelming charity among women! For that quality alone 
those masked ladies merit immortality, 

To Doctor Smith's testimony, those who knew the women of 
long-ago Lima have added that they were also of warm, caressing 
nature, that they were adepts in coquetry from their cradles, 
practiced in the language of the fan, lovers of pleasure, graceful 
dancers, musically talented, tender in illness and with children, 
and devoted worshipers in the Holy Catholic faith. 

"In the manner of the Limenians," General Miller said, "there 
is a spell" And Ulloa, the Spanish explorer, thought the charm 
of their conversation and their manner inimitable. 

It was among such women that Mrs. Proctor had come to 
live. And, as she was almost the only Englishwoman then in 



Lima they were curious about her. Mr. Proctor says that often 
they would stop her in the street to examine and admire her 
dress, and to exclaim over her little son: "Quc frcciosol Que 

After the morning Mass it was the custom for these ladies of 
Lima to drive in their carriages along the Alameda which 
bordered the river, out to the baths a mile away where in tiled 
pools, under vine-covered trellises, they bathed wearing light 
dresses made for the purpose. 

At noon, in elaborate gowns, formally seated on velvet sofas 
and chairs in a grand sala hung with silk, they received guests. 

From these, her new friends, Mrs. Proctor learned the social 
usages of Lima. Women, she found, always embraced each other, 
but they must never shake hands with a man. She discovered 
that it was considered elegant for slaves to bring in perfume which 
the hostesses poured down their own bosoms and the bosoms of 
their feminine guests; and that there were baskets of flowers over 
which scent had been sprinkled, a blossom to be ceremoniously 
presented to each gentleman. 

When the visitors had gone, and the great doors were closed 
for the hour of midday breakfast and siesta, then, says Mr. Proctor, 
it would invariably be discovered that the household was in need 
of something spice or vinegar, salt or butter and slaves would 
be sent hurrying to the plaza to buy; to buy also from the street 
vendors of cooked meats what was needed for the meal. Thus 
purchasing, Mr. Proctor laments, "always at the dearest rate.'* 

Food was prepared with much lard, even in the soup, a quantity 
of red pepper was added, and the meal finished off with very sweet 

After the siesta, in their most elegant costumes, the ladies of 
Lima went to drive on the Alameda, in painted carriages with 
postilions in livery* And gentlemen displayed themselves on 
dashing horses. 

And in the evening, when there happened to be neither theatrical 
performance, nor parties, then the proper amusement was to walk 
to the bridge to enjoy the freshness of the night air and to gossip 



with friends. On the way home everyone would stop in the 
plaza to eat at the fruit stalls and to drink frescos cooled with 
ice brought down on mule-back from the mountains. Lima loved 
ices and iced drinks, and concessions were let out to companies 
organized for the purpose of regularly maintaining the mule- 
service which supplied the city with ice from the Andean heights. 

And when Lima society thus made merry abroad, at home 
the slaves danced and sang to the music of guitar and harp and 

Then the city slept, and Mr. Proctor found it a fact, "shocking 
to an Englishman that both sexes slept entirely naked, without 
even covering their heads." 

And through this naked sleeping city, along the dim streets 
watchmen passed crying the hours: "Ave Maria purisirna! Viva la 
patriar then the hour, and whether or not all was welL 

But while Lima was thus again quickly forgetful of sorrow and 
danger, in the north and the south and the west Royalists forces 
made ready for the struggle that was to be. This time they would 
be prepared for victory. 

But Bolivar did not come* 

August passed, and the rumor that Bolivar was at last on the 
way began to take on an air of certainty. A salute from the guns 
in the forts of Callao would announce his arrival. And on the 
first of September the guns were heard. 

Bolivar had come. Bolivar would drive the Royalists out of 

And that, it was thought, would put an end to all troubles and 
solve all problems! There was then no premonition of distressing 
years of reconstruction, of the hazards which lay ahead. 

Bolivar had come. That was enough. 

Flags were flown from windows and balconies, the flags of 
free Chile, free Buenos Aires, free Colombia, while along the 
road to Callao troops marched to meet the Liberator* 

To Proctor, Bolivar appeared as "a small thin man with an 
appearance of great personal activity; his face well-formed but 



furrowed with fatigue and anxiety; the fire of his quick black 
eyes very remarkable; his mustachoes large; his hair dark and 
curling." Proctor felt that "there was never a face which gave a 
more exact idea of a man . . . boldness, enterprise, activity, intrigue, 
proud impatience, persevering and determined spirit." 

And Lima threw itself at the feet of this man who was to be 
i v s deliverer. 

\mong all the festivities in his honor there were bullfights. 
The Patriot Congress had two years before abolished the bullfight, 
just as it had prohibited any further extension of slavery. These 
things it considered unworthy of an enlightened nation. But for 
General Bolivar who was fond of the sport there was now organ- 
ized a series of bullfights, and the fiercest bulls from all the 
countryside were sent into Lima. 

Proctor went to the first of them. He calls it "a day of bustle 
and joy when the whole splendour of Lima moved toward the 
spectacle. Horsemen nobly mounted, most of them officers riding 
up and down to show off their gaudy costumes and medals. Ladies 
in carriages splendidly dressed. Other ladies, after the fashion 
of the country, curveting astride their sprightly palfreys; attired 
in white gowns and long white trousers, with rows of small tucks; 
a neat foot in a satin shoe with a light silver spur and a small 
silver stirrup." 

In the arena he found military bands playing, while in the bulls' 
dressing room the animals were "tortured to fury by being clothed 
in a dress of ribbons sewn to their skin by packing needles, and 
fireworks fastened about them, to be exploded when they sallied 


And, in the President's box, there was Sim6n Bolivar. 

Then came the procession; the matador in sky-blue satin jacket 
and breeches, with a Spanish mantle of scarlet, also of satin; the 
picadores on horseback armed with spears; the capcadores in 
crimson with cloaks of different colors; behind them on foot, 
others carrying figures of men and beasts stuffed with fireworks, 
to be set off at moments when it was desired further to enrage a 



And now the gate of the bulls' dressing room was thrown open 
and the first of the tormented creatures came charging into the 

The capeador curveted about him, blinding him with his cloak, 
winding the animal until it was safe to turn him over to the 
dagger-men who assailed him on foot; while the matador shining 
in scarlet and blue satin calmly- waited. * . . 

Horses were gored and died; a man was tossed in the air; 
another was wounded and carried from the arena; the Images 
stuffed with fireworks were exploded; the bull streamed with 
blood from the flesh-wounds. And the matador waited . . * 
waited for the breathless climax of death. 

And then it was the moment,, He came forward quietly, his 
cloak in his left hand, his sword in his right. He advanced to 
within ten paces of the maddened bull. The bull lunged, his 
sides panting, his tongue rolling, his head low. But the matador 
received every attack with the cloak, his body moving swiftly and 
lightly aside. And always the matador sought to plant his weapon 
deep in the bull's heart. If he succeeded at the first thrust there 
would be a prize of money. 

Then at last Proctor saw the death; and the great gates opened 
to let in a cart which dragged the dead bull from the scene. 

In an intermission iced drinks and fruits and flowers were passed 
among the crowd, and then again the gate into the bulls' dressing 
room opened. 

Thus, bull after bull was sacrificed in honor of Bolivar's coming. 

"Then," Proctor writes, "the Alameda was full of bustle and 
departure, when suddenly the deep Cathedral bell was heard 
and all in a moment was silent, . . . The prancing steed was 
curbed, the half-uttered compliment unfinished, the haughty 
soldier doffed his shining helmet, and the whole Concourse 
bowed for a moment in prayer/* 

And as I read, the words of the Angelus came back to me; 


A balsa on Lake Titicaca 


"Holy Mary, Mother of God. 
Pray -for us poor sinners 
Nous and in the hour of our death. 
Holy Mary, Blessed among women. . . . 
Pray for us" . . . 

Was it on the following day ? Or was it a few days later? At 
any rate it was on the eighth of September, after Bolivar had been 
a week in Lima, that, as Proctor briefly records, his wife was 
"brought to bed of a son," 

To the event he devotes just that sentence and nothing more. 

The information sent my mind back over the nine months of 
her pregnancy: to the sailing on the brig Cherub from Gravesend 
on the eighth of December; to the time when the carriage was 
overturned on the Pampa, and Proctor found his three-months' 
pregnant wife "laughing merrily" with her maid-servants; to the 
mule-back ride over the Cordillera which had followed those 
twenty days across the Pampa, ten days on a mule, over the dizzy 
wearying trails of the Andes, with along the way wooden crosses 
marking the place where death had come to many who had pre- 
ceded her, and then, before the steep descent, the lofty cumbre 
which she had crossed, as her husband puts it, in the "highest 
spirits." I saw her then arriving in Lima (now five months 
pregnant) and three weeks later forced to flee from the menaced 
city, and, for fear of pestilence on land, to find refuge on a ship 
lying in the harbor of Callao: to be left there while Proctor went 
north to interview the government at Trujillo. And then, just 
a few weeks before her baby's birth, her husband returning and 
transferring the family back to Lima. 

Yet the narrative in which Proctor records all this has no word 
of anxiety about the conditions under which his wife was bearing 
and giving birth to this second son. Not a word to say whether 
she had come through the ordeal well, or with difficulty* 

Merely that she had been brought to bed. 

It would have been at best a suffering time, for it happened 
long before the merciful use of ether or chlorof orm> and consider- 



ing the fatigue and exposure and turmoil of the whole period 
of her bearing, you would have thought that Proctor's solicitude 
could not have been kept out of the story. Nor would the whole 
matter have been thus lightly treated had not Mrs. Proctor been 
the gallant spirit she was. 

"On the eight of September my wife was brought to bed 
of a son." 

That is all. 

And so my mind turned to Archibald Smith, M.D., practicing 
medicine in the Lima of that day: Doctor Smith would help me 
to fill in the background of this part of Mrs. Proctor's life. 

In another place Mr. Proctor has said that an English doctor 
attended his family in Lima. And, through Archibald Smith, I 
understood that Mrs. Proctor would often have heard the phrase 
which he so frequently found flung at a foreign physician: "He 
does not understand our climate," as if (Doctor Smith argues) 
there were some occult quality in the climate of Lima, So 
Mrs. Proctor's friends would have said: "El doctor ingUs? Pcro 
no conoce nucstro clima " 

And how solicitous they would have been about her every 
symptom! Did she suffer from fatiga? Did she know that in 
such cases it was highly dangerous to employ the usual restor- 
atives lavender, or hartshorn, or eau-de-cologne ? In other forms 
of aintness, yes, but never for the expectant mother ! If a physician 
said otherwise, then he did not understand the climate of Lima. 
But a piece of warm toast applied externally to the stomach, or 
a breast of fowl sprinkled with cinnamon and moistened with 
wine similarly applied, these would be found excellent remedies; 
both for fatiga and for desconsuclo, that disconsolate sensation 
which often accompanied fatiga* 

Mrs. Proctor would have found that everyone was full of interest 
and advice. There was not (Doctor Smith laments) a professed 
sick-tender, nor a half-breed Indian housekeeper, nor a seamstress, 
nor a female shopkeeper, nor a vendor of cigarettes, or chocolate, 



who "was not always ready to talk with confounding fluency and 
volubility, and without knowledge, concerning the temperaments 
of patients, and the qualities of all diseases and all medicaments/' 

If Mr. Proctor's English physician disagreed, why then, it was 
evident that he failed to understand the climate. Otherwise he 
would recognize the danger of hartshorn and cologne and lavender 
in cases of fatiga and dcscansuclo. 

And had Mrs. Proctor made her plans in case she could not 
nurse her baby? Did she know that in the matter of wet-nursing 
there was a vast difference between negro and Indian women? 
All diets and all medicaments were, like all people, divided into 
two classes, the cold and the hot, the heating and the cooling. 
Black, for example, was cooling. Swollen joints must always be 
bandaged in black. If one were ill of a fever it was a good thing 
to go to the country and drink the milk of a black cow. So it was 
that the milk of a negro woman was cooler and more refreshing 
than that of an Indian. Mrs. Proctor must remember, in such 
a climate as that of Lima, these things were important. Also 
that at the birth of her child no perfume of any sort must be 
allowed in the room for perfume would almost certainly cause 
convulsions. In England, this might not be true, but in the 
climate of Lima 

I am justified in assuming this interest on the part of the women 
in whose house the Proctors lived because Mr. Proctor, after an- 
nouncing the bringing to bed of his wife, goes on to say that one 
of the women of the house begged to be godmother to the child 
at its christening in the Cathedral, where the Canon himself per- 
formed the ceremony, he being a particular friend of the god- 
mother, and that afterward they took the baby to the Archbishop's 
palace to receive the rare honor of benediction by the venerable 

Obviously Mrs* Proctor had intimate friends among the women 
of Lima, and made herself beloved. 

Therefore, of course, those confidential medical conversations 
which I have imagined must actually have taken place* 

From the birth of Mrs. Proctor's child to the end of the story, 



the Proctors' fate was shaped by the rapidly developing course of 
history, though for a time it seemed to proceed calmly enough, so 
that Proctor who felt himself depleted by the monotony of the 
climate was considering a trip into the Sierra. 

Bolivar was busy with the tangle of intrigue between the rival 
Presidents and the rival Congresses, and the machinations of both 
against himself: those distressing complications which have al- 
ways, everywhere, arisen in the crises of great revolutionary con- 
flicts. Bolivar knew that domestic difficulties must be disposed 
of; for it would not be possible for them to fight the Royalists and 
each other at the same time, and to settle these squabbles he had 
found it necessary to go north to Trujillo. 

Meanwhile, far away in the city of Washington, James Monroe, 
fifth President of the United States, was reading his message to the 
Congress. In Europe after the final overthrow of Napoleon, 
Russia, Prussia and Austria had formed the "Holy Alliance," 
whose "holy" purpose was to reestablish monarchial powers every- 
where in Europe and in all dependencies of Europe. The Alliance 
would have Spain proceed at once to put down revolt in its 
American possessions and to subjugate those colonies which had 
set up independent Republics. 

England's Prime Minister, Canning, had suggested that Eng- 
land and the United States should unite to protect the Spanish- 
American Republics, and this was so important and delicate a 
business that Monroe went to Thomas Jctfcrson for advice. 

"Our first and fundamental maxim," Jefferson had said, and 
for me the words echo in the familiar Virginian accent; echo 
with a slow emphasis, always caressing, "our first and funda- 
mental maxim should be never to entangle ourselves in the broils 
of Europe; our second, never to suflfer Europe to intermeddle with 
cisatlantic affairs," 

Therefore a courteous regret was sent to England and in that 
December when Mr. Proctor was considering a trip into the in- 
terior to restore his "depressed animal spirits," President Monroe 
was reading to the Congress assembled in Washington the address 
in which he proclaimed the doctrine that "The American con- 



tinents, by the free and independent condition which they have 
assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as 
subjects for colonization by any European power. . . . We should 
consider any attempt on the part of the powers of the Holy 
Alliance to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere 
as dangerous to our peace and safety. . . . And we could not view 
an interposition for oppressing the Spanish-American Republics, 
or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European 
power, in any other light than the manifestation of an unfriendly 
disposition toward the United States." 

Wise statesmanship, if only there had been the further vision to 
follow it up immediately with an invitation to the Spanish- 
American Republics to incorporate the doctrine into a pact wherein 
they played an equal part with ourselves! Then the New World 
would have long ago formed that friendship toward which at 
last it now moves. 

My mind was full of all this as I went back to that December 
when, in Lima, Proctor's physician was advising him to go up 
into the hills to recover from his nervous depression. 

Proctor thought it safe enough to leave his family. The trouble- 
some President in Trujillo had been exiled, Bolivar had taken 
the Patriot troops up to Cajamarca where they might be ac- 
customed to the high altitudes at which the final struggle against 
the Royalists must be made. With thus no immediate prospect 
of that struggle, Proctor concluded to leave his family, and himself 
seek recovery in the mountains. 

But within a week after leaving he heard the amazing news 
that again the Godot were advancing upon Lima, coming this 
time along the southern coast. Perhaps already they were arrived! 

Proctor, fearful for the safety of his family, turned his horse 
about and hurried back to Lima. As he approached the city he 
met many Indians on foot: the government had comandeered 
their animals; Lima was in confusion; bands of robbers were 
abroad; the Godos however had not yet arrived. 

And BoHvar was ill at Pativilca and Masses were being said 
for his recovery, 



Weeks of anxiety and wild rumor dragged by, and still the 
Godos delayed their coming. And still the Proctors made no 
effort to leave Lima. Proctor had come on a mission; while any- 
thing might yet be accomplished he would remain. He docs 
not so much as mention the idea of departure, even though the 
eldest of the infant sons had long been drooping. 

Then in the early morning during the first part of February 
they were aroused by dreadful screams in the streets. The alarm 
bells were ringing, people were rushing for shelter, and doors 
were being barred. 

But what had happened? What . . . ? 

The garrison at Callao, die garrison of the forts had mutinied . . . 
and was then on its way to pillage Lima. 

The government ordered the gates closed, the shops shut, and 
valuables hidden. At the ringing of the Cathedral bell every man 
in Lima was to rush at once to the plaza; prepared to fight for 
life and property. 

Proctor knew now that he must have some means of escape; 
he led his horses up the wide stairway and hid them in a small 
upper room* At least there would be animals to take them if 
necessary out of a besieged city. 

At the same time the government was sending dispatches to 
Bolivar to say that the President was suspected of treason and 
that the Congress, after removing him from office, had dissolved 
itself and put the whole power in Bolivar's hands. Bolivar then 
appointed one of his Generals to take charge of Lima, and order 
was to some extent restored. 

And now the elder of the Proctor sons was so gravely ill that 
the doctor said he could not be saved unless he were taken out 
of the country or given sea air. 

Leaving their baby with his nurse in Lima the Proctors took 
the sick child to Chorillos some miles away beside the sea. But 
they had been only a few days there when a servant came to say 
that the baby was in danger of death. Also that the Godos had 
advanced nearer to the city and that Bolivar's General in charge 
had that morning gone out with a, force of eight hundred to meet 



Then, regardless of peril the Proctors dashed back to Lima, 
though they did not dare to risk taking with them the older child: 
he must remain with his nurse in the sea air of Chorillos. 

And in Lima, after the troops had gone out to meet the advanc- 
ing Godos, the mutineers had entered. 

Night fell thus upon terror. 

Proctor had the great doors closed and the balconies fortified 
with guns, pistols and ammunition: the danger was so great that 
he forgets to say in what condition they found the baby. 

Keeping watch through the night, they heard the firing of 
muskets blowing the locks off doors, and then the frantic piteous 
cries for help. 

And in the morning such of these mutineers as had been caught 
were bound to posts in the plaza and shot. 

Even the enemy even the Godos people now said, would 
be better than this terror* 

Alarmed for the child and the servant left at Chorillos, Proctor 
sent off two men for news. The men met them returning in a 
carriage to Lima, for they had been terrified by thieves which 
had broken into the house. 

Meanwhile the Godos were now close to Lima. 

Two days later they entered the city; three thousand men of 
whom five hundred were cavalry: long yellow coats faced with 
blue marching into a silent stricken city. While in Callao the 
forts had gone over to the enemy. 

And now the older child was so ill that he had again to be sent 
away, this time to the house of a German living in the near-by 
village of Miraflorcs. Robbers everywhere, the government sur- 
rendered, both his children ill, Proctor at last concluded to get 
away as soon as was possible. Nothing more could be done for 
his employers, and he need no longer risk the very lives of his 

For many pages he has said nothing of Mrs. Proctor. Distracted 
by anxiety, as she must have been for her children, there is no 
suggestion that she urged flight from the desperate situation. No 
steps had been taken to leave until the political chaos had made 
it impossible for Proctor to carry on further. 


But now they would go. 

The Crown, "a good vessel of three hundred tons/' was about to 
sail for Rio, and from Rio they could be sure of return passage 
to England. 

With what relief Mrs. Proctor would have heard of that good 
vessel sailing for Rio! And they to be aboard her! 

Proctor brought the family down to Callao, and applied for the 
necessary signature to his passport to Rodil, Royalist officer in 
charge of Callao. But Rodil, in a frenzy of anger, marched about, 
a green great coat flapping about his heels. 

Proctor? Agent for the London loan! ... the loan to these 
infernal Patriots! Proctor * . . who had broken neutrality . . . 
asking now for signature to his passport! Proctor. . . , Never! 

Lying in the harbor of Callao was His Majesty's corvette, the 

Proctor went aboard her, decided to claim naval protection as 
a British subject, 

Her captain, Captain Martin, was ashore. Proctor left a letter, 
asking him to intercede with Rodil. 

The family waited. 

A night passed and a day. And in the evening Mr. Cragg, 
master of the Crown, brought a message from Captain Martin 
to say that Rodil would consent to allow Proctor's family to sail, 
but that he still refused permission to Proctor himself. 

There now remained but one day before the Crowns sailing, 
Captain Martin had gone in to Lima, and Proctor had been 
ordered not to leave Callao. 

"Disappointment and vexation!" (Proctor wails.) 

And what to do? 

In the morning he discovered that permission for his family 
to embark had been given to the Captain-of-the-Port who had 
at the same time been warned not to allow Proctor to board the 

He decided, at whatever risk, to go to Lima and make another 
appeal to Captain Martin. 

Captain Martin regretted: he understood how distressing all 



this was; he would write a letter to the Viceroy. Beyond that, 
he said, there was nothing further that he could do. 

But the Viceroy was in Cuzco, distant many days' journey I 

And on the following day the Crown would sail for Rio. 

Proctor went to his friend the family physician. 

Which of the ideas buzzing in his brain was the most practi- 

Should he go to Chorillos, and from there, after dark, hire a 
canoe to take him out beyond the island of San Lorenzo? The 
Crown could pick him up after she had left Callao. But the 
Indians of Chorillos might not dare to let him have a canoe: they 
would fear the anger of the Godos. 

No, that was not a workable idea. But perhaps, if in disguise, 
he left Lima after the fall of night, and rode some thirty miles to 
an uninhabited stretch of beach, might he not arrange to board the 
ship there? Yes, but where was he to find a muleteer that could 
be trusted not to betray the plan ? And suppose the ship missed 
his signal, or was blown so far out to sea that he could not reach 
her. And suppose he should be attacked by one of the hordes of 
roaming thieves ? 

This scheme had scarcely a chance of success. 

There remained, therefore, nothing but to try, somehow, to 
get away from Callao itself, even though the Captain-of-the-Port 
had been instructed to prevent his embarkation. 

Proctor spent the night in Lima and after a very early break- 
fast set out for Callao, in company with a consignee of the Crown. 
Orders had been issued that no one could leave the city without 
showing the proper papers. 

A guard stood at the gates. It was a moment when salvation 
lay only in a confident air. And, touching their hats, they 
trotted unmolested through the gate and out upon the highroad. 

That much was accomplished. 

But at Callao the guards would be more strict. Proctor decided 
that there he would ride ahead while his friend made lengthy 
explanations about the lack of passport. 

That, too, was achieved, and after stabling their horses 



Proctor and his companion walked arm in arm to the dock, 
assuming a bold careless manner as they walked past the guards 
and sentries stationed every few yards. They then hailed a small 
boat and put off to where the Fly lay at anchor, as though Proctor 
had no idea of disobeying RodiPs orders by going aboard the 

Now they must pass the line of gunboats; by miraculous luck 
the sailors had gone ashore to be paid, and they passed unchal- 
lenged, successfully boarding the Fly. There, by further luck, 
was Cragg, Master of the Crown. His suggestion to Proctor was 
to go out to another British ship, the Swallow, which lay out of 
gun-range of the Callao forts. Keep the boat he'd taken from 
the dock; otherwise the returning sailors might report against him. 
Keep the boat, and wait on the Swallow for the firing of a gun 
which was the Crown's signal for the harbor police-boat to come 
off for inspection. Be ready then, and when the Crown hauled 
down her colors, give the order, and try to make her as she sailed 

This plan the Master of the Crown must have explained to Mrs. 
Proctor, waiting aboard with her babies and her servants. 

Gulls whirled and mewed about the ships at anchor in the 
harbor. Pelicans flew solemnly in single file north and south 
above the shore line. Vultures soared over the town of Callao, 
It was March, the end of summer and the air clear and soft, 
with no haze to dim the Crown as Mr. Proctor anxiously watched 
it from the Swallow, or the Swallow as Mrs, Proctor must have 
scanned it from aboard the Crown. 

They waited, but not until the middle of the afternoon was 
the Crown's gun fired. 

Proctor saw the police-boat reach the Crown; and again he 
waited, until at last the colors began to come down, flapping in 
a wind which blew out of the bay. 

Now. . . . Row, men! Row fast. 

But at that moment he saw the Captain*of-the-Port put out from 

The sea was running high, and the Giptaia-of-the-Port gave 



chase. He had a fine galley of oarsmen and was coming on fast, 
gaining every moment on Proctor's boat. There was no hope save 
in the wind which blew out of the bay, and fortunately his boat was 
equipped with a sail. 

Lay by the oars then, and hoist the sail. 

It took time, of course, but it was the one chance. 

Wind filled the sail. Now they were nearing the Crown, and 
the Captain-of-the-Port, with his orders to prevent Proctor's de- 
parture, was not gaining upon them quite so fast 

The wind blew strong and true. 

And surely Mrs. Proctor leaned over the rail watching . , . 

And then Proctor had grasped the rope. The crew was squaring 
the Crown's sails. Proctor had reached the deck. Only a hun- 
dred yards away now the Captain-of-the-Port waved and gestured 
and shouted. 

But the Crown sped before the wind, bound around the Horn 
for Rio de Janeiro. 

And the Proctors were gone. 



I WATCHED the Proctors sail out of the harbor of Callao. When 
they were gone I felt at first abandoned, left alone in that vanished 

Should I return to Lima ? But Lima was in the hands of the 
Royalists, and my sympathies were with the revolutionary Patriots. 
I decided therefore to join Bolivar at his headquarters in Trujillo, 
ninety miles north of Lima. I loved the coast of Pcru > the long 
strange stretches of desert cut across by bright green river valleys, 
and the brilliant sea rolling in from the far horizon. I loved the 
pure yellow and red of cactus blooms, the dry sweet wind blow- 
ing off the desert, and the ranges of barren hills rising abruptly 
from the sands. Therefore I would go to Trujillo. 

And because Proctor had ridden overland when he went up 
to confer there with the fugitive President, I, too, elected to travel 
by land; over the hot sands among the pink and violet hills, and 
along the firm hard beach where a furious surf roars and pounds, 
and seals yelp among the glistening rocks, with at intervals of 
what Proctor called "mortal leagues'* little villages with fighting 
cocks tethered before every doorway. 

And so I came to the busy military headquarters of General 
Bolivar, more than a hundred years ago. 

I was delighted to find there William Miller, for, like everyone 
else, I had grown attached to the tall, straightforward young 
Englishman, with his open friendly manner, his unpretentious 
bravery, and his love of parties, I didn't at all wonder that the 
old lady speculating in Pisco brandy, had lost her heart to him, 
in spite of his having commandeered her mules in a military 
emergency. He was 50 cheerful a companion, so simply and 
naturally courageous, so entirely to be counted on. 


Wings over Peru 


He had been in Chile recovering from a sharp attack of fever, 
but as soon as he had heard of the tragic conditions in Lima he 
had hurried north to offer his services to Simon Bolivar. 

And in Trujillo I met for the first time General Antonio Jose 
Sucre. Of course Sucre's name was familiar, but it was at Tru- 
jillo, in the year 1824, on my journey in time, that Sucre became 
for me a real person. From the beginning I liked him. I liked 
his alert intelligence, the quick movements of his body, and his 
vivacious, always aristocratic manner; and especially I liked the 
look in his eyes. 

Sucre was dark and of medium height, where Miller was tall 
and fair; he was the volatile Latin, where Miller was the essence 
of all that is characteristically British- But out of the eyes of 
both there looked the same honest valor. 

At Trujillo, also for the first time, I met the Irishman, Daniel 
OTLeary, then a colonel and secretary to Bolivar. 

Miller, Sucre, O'Leary were all under thirty, and O'Leary was 
only twenty-four. He had been just seventeen when he had come 
out to Venezuela to enlist in the War of Independence. Since 
then he had campaigned under Bolivar on the Llanos of Vene- 
zuela; with him he had made the amazing march over the Andes 
into Colombia; and he had fought in most of the celebrated battles 
of Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He had in his blood a 
love of liberty, for he was related to the famous Irish agitator, 
Daniel O'ConnelL He was related, too, to the great Burke and 
possessed something of Burke's gift for statesmanship and for 
literary expression* 

But above all those gathered at Trujillo, Sim6n Bolivar shone, 
as the sun dominates the sky from the moment of its rising to its 
going down. 

I have known men who worked tirelessly, but never any who 
toiled so feverishly and everlastingly as Bolivar- He understood 
that the fate of independence in the whole of South America was 
bound up with the outcome in Peru. For if Spain should retain 
control there, there was no hope that the adjacent countries could 
survive as free Republics* San Martin, realizing that there could 



be freedom for none unless there was freedom for all, had marched 
an army over the Cordillera to help Chile to independence; and 
Chile in turn had known that her own safety was impossible with- 
out a free Peru. Equally a free Peru was essential to the safety 
of the greater Colombia of which Bolivar was Liberator and 
President. Let Madrid rule in Peru and it would be only a matter 
of time before that region which he had freed in twelve years of 
struggle would again be subject to Spain: that territory mapped 
in his heart, stretching from the Orinoco to Quito, would be lost if 
the Patriots were worsted now in Peru; all that he had so pain- 
fully won would be eventually subjugated, "enslaved," as he put it. 

Already the Royalists held Callao, occupied Lima, and were 
firmly established in the Sierra. The very breath of liberty might 
be snuffed out. 

Bolivar's mind went over and over the situation: "We cannot 
afford to lose so much as a single battle," he would say. "The 
Liberty of all South America depends now upon us." 

He had not tried to hide the truth: "The state of affairs is hor- 
rible, but we must not despair." And to Sucre he said: "I am re- 
solved to spare no means to compromise even my soul to save 
this land." And then, courage flaming up within him, he vowed: 
"This year shall not end before we are in Potosi!" 

And I wondered whether thus desperately preoccupied as 
Bolivar was he had time to remember Manuelito Saenz; Manuel- 
ita the beautiful, people called her. Had she promised to leave 
Quito and join Bolivar in Peru? Was he expecting her? 

Miller never spoke of Manuelita. He was far too much in 
the tradition of the British officer to gossip. 

But I could not help thinking of her and wondering if Bolivar 
was remembering, if in the frantic turmoil of preparation there 
was not sometimes suddenly the memory of Manuelita. 

But for Ricardo Palma (Peru's great man of letters) I should 
never have known very much about hen As the young purser 
on a ship calling at Paita where she lived in her old age, Palma 
had been her friend, and his impression of her is direct and 
personal; he had the story from her own lips. And of course 



among his acquaintance in Lima there were many to tell him of 
her youth. 

"La Saenz," as he was fond of calling her, was a great woman, 
but frankly not the sort of woman that Palma could have fallen 
in love with himself. He preferred the softer, more clinging type, 
like San Martin's favorite who rode always in a carriage. 

Manuelita rode astride, wearing full white cotton breeches and 
a scarlet dolman. No, she wasn't unfeminine, for she added gold 
or coral earrings. On the other hand she was not perfumed with 
the romantic scents, but with the fresh odor of the verbena. Her 
beauty was strong and vivid; lustrous hair, very dark, and bril- 
liantly black eyes. 

And she seemed never so much at home as in the hurly-burly 
of a military headquarters. If she ever had nerves, she had learned 
to master them. She could remain serene, people said, in the 
midst of shot and shell; serene and efficient, even when facing 
the keen-edged dagger of an assassin. And she had never known 
the comfort of tears, finding her relief only in anger. 

But there have been few women in the world who so well knew 
how to love as Manuelita Saenz, And she loved Sim6n Bolivar. 

She had been five years married to the English doctor, James 
Thornc, when she first met General Bolivar. He had come to 
Quito in the glory of Liberator of South America. Because of him 
all the territory from the Orinoco to her own city of Quito was 
free. And Quito received him in a delirium of adulation. Bolivar 
was their deliverer. Bolivar was the greatest man in the world. 

And he was romantic! 

He had been an orphan at seven years old. (Pobrccitol) And 
a widower at nineteen. ( Ah f qu& Idstimal) He had vowed never 
again to marry, (QuS tristc, no?) With his heart in the grave 
of a dead young wife. 

Yet he could be gay; he could dance. Was there ever a man 
who danced with so much passion as Sim6n Bolivar! Especially 
the waltz. At the same time that he was virile, he was elegant, 
dashing in his manner and in his dress, 

And he could talk * , * how brilliantly he could talk! 



Because of all this he was become a legend of battle and victory 
and heroism and romance. He could have won a crown, for the 
people wanted to name him Emperor, but he had refused. He 
had had riches, but he had freed the slaves he inherited and 
poured out his fortune for the independence in Venezuela. 

And, because of his greatness, how bitter his enemies were, even 
employing assassins in the attempt to destroy him! 

Women could do nothing but fall in love with such a man. 
They scattered flowers for him to walk upon, they worshiped and 

As for Manuelita Saenz, Manuelita la bclla, wife of Dr. James 
Thome, she fell utterly, irrevocably in love. 

And at Trujillo I wondered if he remembered. 

I saw him in those days with the eyes of Daniel O'Leary. 

O'Leary's eyes dwelt upon the lines of thought which seared 
Bolivar's high narrow forehead. The lines, he said, had been 
there when he'd first met him, six years before, though Bolivar 
had been then only thirty-four* His cheeks had been sunken 
then too. And at that time there'd been a wen on his nose, a 
great annoyance to him, but it had gradually disappeared, leav- 
ing just the merest vestige to show where it had been. His lips 
were too thick O'Leary thought, and his upper lip too long, but 
these defects were forgotten in the flash of his smile, in the white 
perfection of his teeth. His skin was dark and his black hair, 
fine and curly. He'd worn it long when O'Leary first knew him, 
but now that he was greying he'd had it cut; but at Trujillo he had 
not yet shaved his mustache. His hands and feet were beautifully 
formed, and he was always slender and tremendously alive. 

But his expression, O'Leary warned: "You wouldn't believe 
how his expression changes when he is in bad humor. It be- 
comes then terrible; the change is unbelievable.'* 

Yet those who loved him, loved him deeply* He was just, and 
never jealous of another man's achievements, as generous with 
praise of others as he was with money. He detested liars and 
tale-bearers, and he had no patience with drunkenness or 
gambling. In matters of discipline he was strict. But the troops 



loved him; those who had followed him from the far corners 
of Venezuela idolized him. They had fear of nothing so long as 
he led them; no danger alarmed them and no fatigue wearied 
them. He could make men work beyond reason because he 
worked himself beyond reason. 

It seemed to me in those days at Trujillo that he never rested. 

"There remains only a month for preparation/* he would say; 
"in May we must be marching and in June we must be ready if 
need be to fight. And we cannot afford to lose so much as one 

With each fresh realization that he moved toward that struggle 
which was to decide the fate of all Spanish South America, he 
fell more furiously than ever upon the work of preparation. 

"Europe," he cried, "is finished, worn out! The hope of the 
world lies here in the western hemisphere." 

And because the hope of the world was at stake they must win. 

O'Leary had never seen him live more sternly or work more 
feverishly than at Trujillo. 

For look what the situation was. The whole Patriot army was 
no more than seven thousand men, and not above four thousand 
of them were disciplined to war. They were ill-equipped too, 
in rags and wasted to skeletons by lack of food. 

And the treasury was a vast deficit. 

As for the Royalists, they had eighteen thousand highly trained 
men and all the resources of the interior at their disposal, from 
Jauja to the rich mines of PotosL 

"Yet, before the year is out" Bolivar declared, "we shall be 
in Potosi." 

He had girded up his soul to perform a miracle. 

He sent appeals for troops and money to Colombia, Chile, 
Mexico, Guatemala, From the well-to-do citizens about Trujillo, 
and from the gold and silver of its churches, he raised a hundred 
thousand dollars of the four hundred thousand that he felt was 
needed for the campaign. 

And he set everyone to work. Uniforms were required. The 
women must make them* Men must be drilled, shoes made 



for the horses, food supplies, muskets, and mules provided the 
army needed everything. And there remained but a month for 
preparation, for in May they must march. 

Three times Sucre made the hard trip up into the Andes, All 
must be ready in the mountains for their coming, when they 
marched in May. 

Yet, though the hours were so crowded, Bolivar must have 
thought of Manuelita, for she was not a woman who could be 
forgotten. He must sometimes have smiled to himself to think 
that Manuelita had been trained in a Quito Convent. She was so 
different from his gentle little dead first wife that she must have 
astonished him at every turn. Imagine a convent girl reading 
Plutarch and Tacitus, Mariana's History of Spain, Garcilaso's 
Commentarios on Peru, Cervantes too; and her eyes glowing 
when she recited verses from her favorite poets, Cienf ucgos, Quin- 
tana and Olmedo. 

Manuelita was a woman that such a man as Bolivar could 
talk with ... as well as make love to* 

Ah, La S4enz had everything, brains and beauty, and daring, 
and never was there a more ardent Patriot! The same flame that 
consumed Bolivar burned in her also. 

Bolivar must have remembered all this, even while his mind 
was saying, over and over: "This month for making ready; next 
month for marching; and in June perhaps the battle." 

And then the march began^ up over the mountains to Cerro, 
twelve thousand feet above the sea. And there they were joined 
by the regiments from Cajamarca and Huara* 

But it was August before all had arrived at the high plain of 
Sacramento between Rocas and Pasco. And when, on the second 
of August, Bolivar reviewed the troop$ there were assembled 
nine thousand men trained and equipped* Part of the miracle 
had been performed. 

No one present could ever forget the scene, or the excitement, 
or the swelling pride that each man felt in that army which 
Bolivar had created out of almost nothing. 



Upon young General Miller, used as he was to the Andean 
landscape, and accustomed as he was to the sensations which pre- 
cede battle, it made a profound impression, not only in itself 
but because of what it represented. He put upon paper some- 
thing of how he felt that his mother and his brother John, back 
in England, might understand: 

"The view," he wrote, "from that vast tableland is one of the 
most magnificent in the world. In the west rose the Andes, 
just surmounted with so much toil On the east were the 
enormous ramifications of the Cordillera stretching toward 
the Brazils. North and south the view was bounded by 
mountains whose tops were hid in the clouds, 

"And among the men assembled, there were in addition 
to those of Peru, men from Caracas, Bogota, Panama, Quito, 
Chile and Buenos Aires; and among them foreigners who 
had crossed the seas to fight for the cause of liberty; Americans 
who had fought in Chile, at San Lorenzo, on the banks of the 
Parani, at Carabobo in Venezuela and at Pichincha; foreign- 
ers who had fought on the banks of the Guadalquivir in Spain, 
and on the Rhine, men who had witnessed the conflagration 
of Moscow and the capitulation of Paris. 

"And all were animated by one sole spirit: 

"To assure the political existence of a vast continent, to 
ascertain whether or not the period had arrived when the 
influence of South America upon the rest of the world should 
be rendered commensurate with its extent, its riches and its 


Miller could never forget the scene; nor the address which, 
on the shore of the high cold lake, Bolivar made to the troops* 

Miller proudly headed the Peruvian cavalry. He was fond of 
boasting that there were nowhere any such horsemen as the 
Patriot cavalry. 

As he listened to Bolivar's speech he was conscious of the sur- 
rounding country* They were close to the margin of the lake 
of Reyes, and Miller recalled that it was the principal source of 
the Amazon and that the Amazon was the mightiest of the earth's 



rivers. Thus he thought while Bolivar's words rung out in the 
high cold air; words like brave bright banners: 


"You are about to finish the greatest undertaking Heaven has 
confided to men Even Europe beholds you with delight, be- 
cause the freedom of the New World is the hope of the uni- 
verse. . . .'* 

"Vival Vival Viva!" 

The plain echoed with cries of hope, enthusiasm, faith: 

"Vival Vival Vival" 

Four days later, suddenly they saw the Royalist army march- 
ing over the plain, half a dozen miles away across the lake. 

And in the afternoon the Royalist cavalry charged. The 
Patriots met the shock with a counter-charge. Not a shot was 
fired. The two opposing forces hurled their cavalry in charge 
after charge, steel met steel Baydnet and saber pierced living 
flesh. The iron shoes of horses trampled fallen bodies. And 
no explosion of musketry drowned the sound of pounding hoofs, 
the clash of metal, the snorting breath of charging beasts, the 
shouts and the cries of men. Not a shot fired and no smoke of 
powder drifting away into the clear crisp air. Only the dust 
of the plain raised by the horses* feet; dust swirling in a yellow 
cloud about a scene of death; death in the fury of battle. 

And in an hour it was over, the dreaded army of the Royalists 
flying before the Patriots. 

"The freedom of the New World is the hope of the universe" 

Bolivar had written the words on every heart. 

As the enemy fled it was as if those words pursued them. The 
memory of that disgrace would weaken them in the decisive con- 
flict which was still to come. 

They retreated, leaving to the Patriots horses and cattle, aban- 
doned guns and ammunition; soldiers dead and wounded, and 
the miles of cultivated territory over which they had retreated. 

And in the high exhilaration of victory. Bolivar planned the 



In the next few weeks he would inspect the regiofi, carefully 
studying the conditions. They could not risk another battle until 
reinforcements should arrive. News had come that three thousand 
soldiers were on their way from Colombia. The Patriots must 
not attack until they came. Bolivar, thinking over the situation, 
decided to return to the coast. On no account must the Colombian 
reinforcements be cut off . The thing to do now was to strengthen 
the army for attack. He would therefore return to the coast, leav- 
ing Sucre in charge. There was money, too, which he would 
draw on a London loan. 

Bolivar was confident, full of hope, happy in the triumph of 
putting to flight the enemy army. 

Certainly by the end of the year the Patriots would be in 
Potosi, and the independence of Spanish South America would 
have been won. The years of struggle would then be over. There 
would be no more months of planning, how in God's name to 
raise those vast sums which war devours, no more painful marches, 
no more anxiety, no more intrigue and treachery to threaten the 
fate of battles, no more suspense, no more necessity to draw from 
his own font of courage in order to restore faith to the despairing. 

That victory toward which his life had moved for so many 
wearying years was now in view. 

Potosi before the end of the yearl 

So do dreams take shape in the mind, coming true before their 

Bolivar rode back over the trail which would take him down 
to Lima- And while he was still in the high Andes a messenger 
came up from the coast with the mail from Colombia. 

And there was a letter from Colombia. The letter regretted 
to inform General Bolivar that the Congress of Colombia revoked 
the extraordinary powers which had been granted him. Because 
Bolivar had accepted supreme control in Peru, he might no longer 
be considered Commander-in-chief of the Colombian Army. 

It was a wordy letter, but its meaning required no more rhetoric 
than a stab in the back dealt by the dagger of a friend. 

O'Lcary flamed with indignation: 



It was obvious that the writer's motive was jealousy. But to 
strike at such a moment, at a time of momentous crisis, when, 
with dangers and difficulties on every side, the General was 
preparing for that conflict which was to decide the fate of all, to 
strike thus was an infamous thing. 

O'Leary understood that the blow had gone deep into that 
region of the heart which never forgets. It was the sort of injury 
for which, whatever joyful thing the future may hold, there is 
no healing. 

It has happened, and nothing can ever be done about it. 

There is only to call together what remains, and with that to 
carry on. 

Bolivar thought of Sucre, tireless, selfless, loyal. He must write 
to Sucre at once. Sucre must understand that the great final battle 
for liberty was now to be his, and not Bolivar's, The responsibility 
and the glory would be Sucre's. Only he must not fail to realize 
that the Patriots could not afford to lose so much as one battle. 
Any repulse would be fatal. There must be nothing but victory. 
Therefore Sucre must proceed with the greatest caution. And he, 
Bolivar, would forward reinforcements and money. 

In calling upon what remained to him he summoned the 
blessed solace of work. He could still work for the great cause* 
In Lima there was much to be done, and as he traveled back to 
the coast he mustered along the way a thousand additional men, 
as well as supplies and horses; sending them back to Sucre's army 
as it marched over the Sierra in the wake of the retreating Royal- 

Yet all the time there was heavy in Bolivar's heart the unbeliev- 
able fact that command of the Colombian Army had been taken 
from him his own army, the thing he had created, which was 
part of himself* 

It could not be. , , * Yet it was* 

I wondered if at that time he knew, if a letter had come to tell 
him, that Manuelita SScnz was on her way from Quito to Peru* 
But whether he expected her, or whether her arrival was a surprise, 
there she was, meeting him in the village of Haura, on the coast 



not very far from Lima; appearing as though miraculously she 
had heard the sorrow in his heart calling, and had come. 

Whatever Bolivar had lost, Manuelita was his utterly and always. 
Her shining eyes were a mirror in which he saw himself tri- 
umphant Her quick responsive mind required no explanation of 
the bitterness of his disappointment. The injustice of it stung 
her as it did him. She understood. She knew that he scorned 
money and position, but that the glory of achievement was his 
life. She knew, for in everything Manuelita Saenz was Sim6n 
Bolivar's mate* Her sympathy was not pity, but that fortifying 
thing passionate understanding, the sympathy of militant re- 
sentment against injustice, not the sympathy of tears. 

The very fragrance of her was stimulating, the fresh scent of 
the verbena which she always used- 

And how entirely she gave herself! 

Her husband continually begged her to return, but this was her 
reply to his pleading: 

"No, no, no! Why do you force me to tell you a thousand 
times No? . . . You are good, excellent, inimitable, I shall 
never deny that. And, my friend, to leave you for Bolivar 
that is something! To leave a different husband, without 
your qualities, would be nothing. 

"But can you think that, having been the chosen of BoKvar, 
having possessed his heart, I could be the woman of another? 
Not even though he be the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost 
or the most Sacred Trinity! 

"I well understand that there can be for me no union with 
Bolivar that you would call honorable. But do you think me 
less virtuous because he is my lover and not my husband? 

"Ah, I do not live for social conventions! 

"Leave me then in peace, my dear Englishman. In heaven 
we may be again married, you and L But on this earth, 
never. * . , 

"In the celestial country we shall pass an angelic life; all 
will be as in church, since such monotonous life is the char- 
acteristic of your nationality; that is, in matters of love. For 



in commerce, who more quick than the British? It is love 
which finds them without enthusiasm, conversation in which 
they lack grace, and jest in which they do not smile 

"No, I cannot picture myself living on the earth condemned 
to England! 

"And so, frankly, without laughter, with all the seriousness 
of an Englishwoman herself, I tell you that never again shall 
we be together. 

"No, and no and no, ... But I am your friend always." 

Such a love as Manuclita's for Bolivar has moments gifted with 
the power to lift all burdens. And in the intervals between those 
moments of oblivion, there was Manuelita's blazing interest in 
every detail of the campaign for freedom; Manuelita was as ardent 
a Patriot even as Bolivar. She had been living in Lima with her 
husband when San Martin had aroused in Peru a desire for in- 
dependence and because of her eager revolutionary zeal she had 
been one of the women whom he had decorated with the Order 
of the Sun. Bolivar could delight in the reality of her patriotism, 
since it was as genuine as his own, and ht.d nothing to do with 
her personal passion for him. Wherever she was Manuelita was 
active always for the dream of freedom- Once, when therc'd been 
rioting in Quito she'd ridden at the head of the company which 
put it down; a glorious figure in scarlet and white, with earrings 
quivering in the dear air of lofty Quito, 

Certainly Manuelita's arrival at Haura was a comfort* 

And with Sucre in the Sierra, Bolivar felt that he had left 
his right arm to direct the battle that was coming; then there was 
Miller always to be trusted; and loyal young O'Leary; and BOW 
Manuelita, and the work wailing in Lima hurrying troops up 
to Sucre, and money. 

So Bolivar called together what yet remained to him* 

The Royalists had recently drawn their forces out of Lima, con- 
centrating their strength in the Sierra, making ready for the final 
battle* They had left the city crushed after months of tyranny, 



but it rose up in joy to greet Bolivar's return. It would have him 
know how it had suffered. Now that he had come back it could 
hope once more, and every bell in the city rang in frenzied de- 
light. The terror was over now that the Liberator was come. 

Bolivar established himself with his staff and with Manuelita 
at Magdalena, in a commodious country mansion near the sea, 
just a little way out of Lima. 

There, on the very afternoon of his return, he sent out an invita- 
tion to all the governments of America to meet in the first Pan- 
American Congress ever to be held. 

Long ago eleven years before when he was a refugee in 
Jamaica he had dreamed of a great federation of the Spanish- 
American Republics, with an Assembly meeting in Panama. Even 
then he had believed that the hope of the universe lay in the New 

But first the independence had to be won. 

Now, certain of victory in that battle so soon to be fought in 
the Sierra of Peru, he dictated the invitation to the governments 
of ail American Republics to send representatives to the Isthmus 
of Panama. 

He dictated rapidly, always sure of what he would say. Ever 
restless, he swung back and forth in his hammock, and from 
time to time in his excitement he jumped up to pace the floor. 

Thus, swinging in his hammock looking out over the spacious 
patio of the house at Magdalena, he dictated the invitation to the 
first Pan-American Congress, to be held at the Isthmus of Panama 
in the summer of 1826: 

"After fifteen years devoted to the cause of Liberty in 
America, the time has now come when the interests which 
unite those Republics formerly Spanish [the words long wait- 
ing in his mind came fast] demand that in order to perpetuate 
that for which we have fought, we establish and consolidate 
in a sublime authority which will direct our governments 
and maintain the uniformity of their principles. Such an 
authority can exist only in an Assembly of Plenipotentiaries 
named by each of the Republics. 



"And since Panama is situated in the center of the globe it 
appears to be indicated as the meeting place of the first As- 

"The day on which this body meets will be immortal in 
the history of America. , . ." 

And while secretaries busily made copies of the document for 
each of the governments of the western hemisphere, Bolivar was 
occupied in reorganizing demoralized Lima. By this time the 
three thousand Colombians under fiery young lose Maria Cordova 
would have reached Sucre in the Sierra. Now, he turned his 
mind to the government which would succeed the victory. He 
set about founding schools in Lima, as he had done in Trujillo, 
in the very midst of creating an army. In his mind a new Constitu- 
tion was shaping. So much to be done, and only Bolivar to 
dream and plan! 

From morning until night people came and went between Lima 
and the mansion at Magdalena. For hours on end the secretaries 
worked over Bolivar's correspondence, They missed CXLeary who 
had been sent to Sucre with Bolivar's last suggestions for the plan 
of battle, Manuelita presided as the brilliant lady of the mansion. 
When she rode out, triumphant in her beauty and her love, she 
was accompanied by a military escort. There were dinner parties 
and distinguished guests sitting clown at the great table under 
the chandelier. And Bolivar himself, eating little and plainly, 
was proud of the epicurean understanding of foods and wines 
which everywhere made his dinners famous* His return had 
restored gaiety and music to Lima. 

Victory in the Sierra seemed to them all certain, and none could 
look into the dark pain of the years to follow upon that victory. 
Bolivar could not foresee what a futile thing his great Panama 
Congress was to be in actuality; how little was accomplished and 
how few attended, the United States not even represented, since 
of their two delegates one died upon the way and the other did 
not arrive until the Congress was over. Bolivar in his vast dream 



of a glorious future for the Americas, did not know that he was one 
day to look upon the collapse of the dream and compare himself 
to that insane Greek who, standing on an island waving his arms, 
fancied that he directed the movements of the ships that sailed 
the Mediterranean. 

For Bolivar dreamed ahead of his time, with no vision of all 
that must be suffered before the dream had even a chance of 

So with high hope he had dictated his invitation. 

And then there came the letter from Sucre. A battle had been 
fought, the battle of Ayacucho, high in the Sierra, not far from 

Bolivar read Sucre's letter in a passion of joy. At last victory 
had come. The Royalists were not merely routed, they were 
conquered. The Viceroy was captured and in the name of Spain he 
had surrendered. And Peru was added to the company of free 
American Republics. Now the liberty of Buenos Aires, of Chile 
and the greater Colombia (which included Venezuela, New Gra- 
nada and what is now Ecuador) was assured. They need no 
longer fear that Spain would overthrow their infant Republican 
Governments. The hated Godos had made their final surrender 
at the battle of Ayacucho. 

It was all there in Sucre's letter. 

Bolivar tore off his military coat and threw it upon the floor. 
They were done at last with the war which that coat symbol- 
ized. The war was over and the coat of the military dictator of 
Peru was cast upon the floor. 

Bolivar danced about the room, crying, "Victory I Victory! 

The thing for which he had lived was accomplished and there 
was in his spirit no envy that the battle had been Sucre's and 
not his, that it was at Sucre's feet, and not his, that up in the 
Sierra the proud flags of Castile were laid, and the swords 



If there were moments when the triumph seemed an illusion* 
there was Sucre's letter to be reread, proving the truth: 

"The war is over, my General. And the freedom of Peru is 
accomplished. But I am happier in having carried out your 
trust than ia anything else. . . ." 



OFTEN and often on this journey in time I have made the 
fantastic wish that I might find someone who had neglected to 
die. People are so careless, I said to myself, why couldn't some- 
one simply have forgotten to die? And why might I not find this 
person and hear the whole story, complete, not just pieced to- 
gether from fragments preserved more or less by chance? 

Now, arrived in the journey at the twentieth century, and look- 
ing back over the way I feel suddenly as though my wish had 
amazingly come true and that I have myself become that person 
who has forgotten to die. For, without any attempt to write ail- 
inclusively of the saga of Peru, putting down only what is most 
vivid to me in the years since Mummy Number 94 was laid in 
his tomb at Paracas, somehow, through that which my mind 
has spontaneously selected to remember, I have come to feel that 
it is I who, living through the centuries, have forgotten to die. 

And so, as though having passed through a personal experience, 
I have come finally to that century which is still so new that we 
have no perspective upon the troubled years of its infancy, and no 
clairvoyant gift to see what we shall make of the years between 
1937 and 2000, though we begin with the bright hope of enduring 
peace and increasing friendship among the Americas. 

That was long ago Bolivar's dream, 

I was thinking of this, as, in Lima, I lingered in the Museo 
Bolivariano, looking back into the receding centuries before re- 
crossing the threshold into the twentieth. 

Out in the patio unseen doves cooed very softly, incessantly, 
The fig-tree which Bolivar had planted more than a century ago 
was loaded with ripening fruit The once tidy flower-beds were 
crowded with unrestrained growth, a jungle of roses, red and 



pink and white muskcluster, heliotrope, red geraniums grown 
to mammoth size like the deceptive illustrations of a florist's cata- 
logue, vermilion hibiscus, palms and an orange tree, and flower- 
ing vines; all in a luxuriant tangle. The flight of butterflies wrote 
invisible messages in the air, and hummingbirds quivered gleam- 
ing before first one flower and then another. 

Beyond, in a second patio, lay those mute enigmatic mummy 
bundles which Doctor Tello had brought back from Paracas. 

Save for the continual cooing of the doves the house and its 
patios were enveloped in a silence wherein the stirring century of 
independence slept at peace, unconcerned with the troubled life 
of today. 

But I have only to remember that century to bring suddenly 
alive the house on the quiet square of little many-colored houses, 
and the still rooms with their relics of a vanished life, and the sunny 
flowery patio. Bolivar's cry of "Victory!" shatters the silence. 
And I fancy the fragrance of Manuclita's verbena as I move from 
room to room. 

Bolivar, Sucre, San Martin look down from the walls. In glass 
cases neatly labeled are fading documents once of vital import. 
There is Bolivar's traveling box, Bolivar's camp-bed. Bolivar's 
hammock, hanging limp and empty, there is a vast chandelier 
dimly reflected on the gloss of the banquet table, and there is 
Manuelita's dressing table, of beautifully inlaid woods divided 
into many cunningly devised compartments. 

Bolivar and Manuelita, Pizarro and Atahualpa, gallant Mrs- 
Proctor, the Perricholi, and Sergeant Mugaburu, these, like all the 
past, are no more dead than my own living memories of Lima, 
their words no more dead than those sentences, heard in the Lima 
of today, which so often recur to me: 

"Yaw should see the Indians, how they uwr\ on the haciendas 
and in the Sierra, you should see how they workj* 

It was an Indian who spoke, in a voice vibrant with the long 
patience of his race* He wanted me only to see; that was all 

And I hear, too, the steady voice of a man who has observed 
the life of men in many parts of the world: Russia, France, Eng- 



land, Spain, the two Americas. He is a man who loves Peru, 
and he is saying: 

"If only Peru can avoid revolution I thin\ there lies ahead for 
her a great prosperity. All is made ready now for an era of pros- 
perity, for unity. For long the country was held bac\ by lac\ of 
transportation, of communication between coast and Sierra and the 
jungle country beyond the mountains. 

"There are now motor roads continuing where the railroads 
leave off; airplanes fly up and down the coast and into the interior; 
and there are more ships, better ships, to unite Peru with the rest 
of the world. 

"If only she can avoid revolution^ 

Revolution, I thought, contemplating the problems of Peru so 
similar in essentials to our own, Revolution in a Republic is the 
assassin of Democracy, and I would have Democracy live. At 
least let us perfect the thing we began to build, before we topple 
it over and replace it with something else. Those who willed 
it to us paid for it a great price. 

In the still patio of the Museo Bolivariano, it came to me that we 
owe it to them to let Democracy have its chance. 

That thought brought me to the preoccupations of the twentieth 
century, with its struggle to find some way to the making of a better 
world. And because, upon this long journey in time, I had seen 
so much that is of value, as well as the many cruelties and blunders 
to be avoided, I realized the importance of preserving out of each 
century what is worthy to endure, 

The art of the ancients of Peru, for example, is a precious herit- 
age* The thrift and the industry and the honesty of the Inca's 
people would anchor civilization, their worship of Nature would 
enrich life, while if the social security they achieved had not in- 
cluded a tyrannical annihilation of the individual, their system 
might have survived to solve the perplexing problems of today* 
And if, in some way we might regain the courage and endurance 
of the sixteenth-century Spaniard, we would add to the power of 
life; for he possessed the priceless gift of extending the span of 
active life. He considered no one too young or too old for virile 



living; boys of fifteen and octogenarians alike played valiantly a 
man's part. As for that courtesy which in the seventeenth century 
Sergeant Mugaburu so valued, it still persists, making contact with 
Spanish-America a warm and charming experience. While the 
dauntless vision o the century of independence is an inspiration 
for this the century whose vision seeks to find a way to social 

Considering thus what we are to make of our unfinished century, 
suddenly I recalled something that Cieza de Leon said four hun- 
dred years ago, in writing of the Spanish Conquerors: 

'They went out to explore that which was unknown and 
never before seen. . * * And I esteem them because, until now, 
no other race or nation has with such resolution, passed 
through such labors, or such long periods of starvation or 
traversed such great distances/' 

With that there came another memory. Two eager-eyed young 
students of the venerable University of San Marcos had come 
to call upon me at the Hotel Maury in Lima, And in the course 
of our talk one of them with a blazing sincerity said: "We 
must find out what we are ourselves. , , . And so we are going 
now through anguish," 

Thus we, too, though in another sense, go out "to explore that 
which is unknown," but with knowledge of what has been, there 
is a light to warn and to guide, shining upon the path ahead 





Adams, Harriet, has followed the 

Conquerors, 198 
Alarc6n, Juan de 
La verdad Sospechosa, 221 
Alcantara, Martin de, half-brother 
of Francisco Pizarro, 108, 112, 

Aldana, 143 
AUanza Popular Revolucionaria 

Americana, 55, 175 
Almagro, Diego de, 109, 133 
and Francisco Pizarro, 110#., 135 
and Hernando, 142-143 
captured Cuzco, 142 
goes to Chile, 136 
Almagro, the Lad, son of Diego de 
Almagro, 147 ff., 150, 157, 187 
Alvarado, Pedro de, 109, 136 
Amat, Manuel, Viceroy of Peru, 


and La Perricholi, 225-234 
description of, 223 
Amat, Manuel, son of the Viceroy, 

226, 230, 231, 234 
Amazon River, 112, 162, 287 
American Clipper t airplane, 16$, 
Ampato, 120 
Ancon, Bay of, 44 
Antarctic Ocean, 38 
APRA, 175 

see AUanza Popular Revolucion- 
aria Americana 
Apristas, 55 

see AUanza Popular Revolucion- 
aria Americana 


Archaeological Museum of the Uni- 
versity in Lima, 77 
Arequipa, 45, 120#, 129, 130, 152, 

167, 177, 183 
Argentina, 123 
Atahualpa, the Inca, 72, 94 
attitude toward Spaniards, 113- 


and Pizarro, I02ff. 
in painting in Santo Domingo, 


ransom chamber of, 100 
autocanil, 179, 183, 184, 185, 186, 

Ayacucho, battle of, 295 

Balboa, beheaded, 110 

Balboa, Father Caballo de, chronicle 

by, 130 
baldo, tea, 220 
Barranca, suburb of Lima, 54 
Barranquilla, airplane service, 17, 

25, 26, 27 
Bates, Tia, 120-121 
baths, of the Inca, 102, 104 
Beatriz, Inca Princess, 170 
Bele*n, ancient church of, 99 
Bingham, Hiram 
found Machu Picchu, 187-188, 


Blanco, Commodore, 249 
Bogotd, airplane, 27 
Bolivar, Sim6n, 235, 240 #, 258 
and Manuelita, 283$. 


Bolivar, Simon continued 
and San Martin, 247-248 
appearance of, 266-267 
issues call to first Pan American 

Congress, 293-294 
relieved of command, 290 
statue of, in Lima, 54 
stayed at Magdalena, 78 
Bolivia, 121, 162 
Brazil, 38 

Buenaventura, 31, 32 
Buenos Aires and the Spanish Con- 
querors, 21, 236, 238, 242, 258, 
259, 266, 295 
bullfights, in honor of Bolivar, 267- 


Burford, Robert, quoted on manto, 

Cabeza Larga, 90 

Cajamarca, 43, 67, 94#, 129, 273, 


Pizzaro at, 96 

Cajamarquilla, ruins of, 60-62 
Calancha, Father, Augustinian monk, 


quoted on Vilcabamba, 192 
Calder6n, Scnora Maria, killed by 

Carbajal, 192 

Calder6n de La Barca, 221, 228 
Call, 27 
Callao, port for Lima, 54, 202, 213, 

219, 257, 266, 269, 274, 276, 


exodus to, 259$. 
Canal (Panama), 17, 28, 29 
Canning, Prime Minister of Eng- 
land, 272 
Capa, made first image of Santa 

Rosa, 201 
Cape Haitian, 18 


Carbajal, Francisco de, 143 

"Demon of the Andes," 
Carlos, son of Paullu, 157 
Carreon, Senorita 

assistant of Dr. Tello, 80, 81, 84 
Cartagena, 27 

Cartavio, sugar plantations of, 95 
Casa Grande, sugar plantations of, 


Castro, Vaca de, sent to investigate 
Almagro's death, 146, 150, 157 
Catica, 27 
Cauca Valley, 27 
Cayenne, 36 
Cerro Colorado, 88, 90 

description of, 69-70 

life of, 68 

ruins of, 4 1 

vast cemetery, 61 
Charles V t Kmperor of Spain, 111, 

135, 1M 

Chavcs, Francisco dc% 147 

Chavm, 77 

Chmtb, Proctor family on, 238$., 


chicha, drunk by Indians, 173 
Chichani, mountain, 120 
Chiclfn, Larco Museum at, 67, 69 
Chile, and the Spaniards, 123, 135, 

136, 220, 235, 238,266 
Chilete, 94 

Chimo, kingdom of the* 


Chinchcras village, 19H 
cholo boys, 97 
Chorilios, suburb of Lima, 54, 274, 

275, 277 

Chupas, battle of, 1 ^0 
Ckment IX, Pope, 201 
Club National, Lima, 54 
coca, chewed by Indians, 175 

44 t 68, 


Cochrane, Lord, 246, 247, 248#. 
Colcampata, palace of, 157, 158, 174 
Colegio of Cajamarca, 98, 102 
Colombia, 21, 25, 123, 266, 281, 

282, 289 

and Bolivar, 259# 
Colon, 28 
Columbus, 71, 112 
Commodore, plane, 27-33 
Convent of the Incarnation, scandal 

concerning, 209 
Conway, British ship, 237, 250 
Cordillera, of the Andes, 38, 112, 
123, 124, 186, 238, 239, 252, 
256, 282 

C6rdova, Jose* Maria, 294 
Corneillc, and Alarc6n, 221 
Coropuna, 120 
Cortez, Hernando, 108-109, 110, 


Costa Rica, 21, 27 
Cragg, Mn, master of the Crown, 

Cristobal, 27, 28, 31, 36 

airplane service, 26 
Crown, British ship, 276, 277$. 
Cuba, 19 

cumbrc, of the Cordillera, 256, 269 
Cusi Tku, Indian prince, 157, 158- 

159, 162, 187 
as it appeared to the Conquerors, 


Importance of, 129 
market place of, 173 
siege of, 136#. 
University of, 60 

De Torres, Isabel Ortiz, cured by 

Martm, 204 
Devil's Island, 50, 52 

Echarri, Fermin Vicente de, 234 
La Perricholi married, 235 

Ecuador, and the Spanish, 36, 38, 
259, 281, 295 

El Misti, mountain, 120 

El Triunfo, fagade of, 168, 169, 170 

equipment for journey, 48-49 

Estete, Miguel de, 116, 130 
quoted on Pachacamac, 62 

Estremadura, home of many Con- 
querors, 104, 108, 136, 150, 

Faucett, 94 

Felicit<5, chola nurse-girl, 126-127 
Fernandez, cholo boy, 97-98, 168 
Ferrocarril, Hotel, 127, 166, 179, 


Fife, Lord, 247 
"first horizon," 80, 86 
Fly, British ship, 276ff. 
Fuentes, Scfior, station master, 127, 


Dealing, Ambassador, 78, 94 
Del Campo, Senor, 98, 100, 104 
De Soco, Captain, 102#, 118 

Galapagos Islands, 38 

Gallo, Island of, Pizarro on, 34, 43, 

110, 111 
Garcia, 88, 89 

Gasca, an Inquisitor, 154-155 
George IV, King of England, 238 
Giesecke, Dr. Albert, 60 
Gorgona, Island of, 32, 43, 111 
Gran Mouton, 19 
guano, 44, 66ff., 79, 89, 90 
Guatemala, and the Spaniards, 50, 

Guayaquil, 26, 31, 35, 36, 39, 240, 

257, 260 


Guzmin, Don Alouzo Enriquez de 
activities of, 134-135 
and Hernando> 137-145 
characteristics of, 137 
went to Cusco, 136 

Hall, Captain Basil 
cruised South American coast, 

249, 250, 258, 263 
quoted on La Perricholi's coach- 

and-four, 237 
Hambutio, village, 198 
Hanco, uncle of Tito, 97 
Harleston, 260, 26l 
Haynes, Irving, 95 
Herrera, Senor Larco, 67, 68-69 
Hollywood, 46, 50 
Honduras, 241 
htiacas, at Chan-Chan, 69, 70 
huacos, at Chan-Chan, 70, 73 
Huanuco, birthplace of La Pcrri- 

choli, 218 
Huarochiri, birthplace of Doctor 

Tello, 72, 74 
Huascar, brother of Atahualpa, 113, 

116, 118 
Huascardn, 44 
Huatanay River, 132 
Humboldt Current, 38, 44 
Huaylas, 77 
Huayna Capac, father of Atahualpa, 

Huayna Picchu, 188, 190 

lea, 61, 70, 82 

Immaculate Conception, controversy 

over, 208, 211 
Inca civilization, 114$. 

no writing in, 131 
Inesilla, actress, 229 
Inez, Indian Princess, 157 

International Institute of Peruvian 
Archaeology, envisioned by Dr. 
Tcllo, 77 

Jamaica, 17, 21, 23, 24, 25 

airplane service, 26 
Jauja, 142 
Jefferson, Thomas, 238 

and the Monroe Doctrine, 272 
Jesuits, banishment of, from Peru, 


Juan, room boy, 1 6ff. 
Juanito, 167, 168 
Juliaca, 122 

Kingston, 22, 23, 25 
Krocber, Doctor Alfred, 77 

Las Casas, BarthoSomc de, 151 
LaMoca, 157 

La Merced, Church of, 180 
La Perricholi, see ch* XI 

and Ahrcon, 221-222 

and the theater, 22*i$, 

beauty of, 224 

came to Lima, 218 

description of> 224*225 

early life of, 219-220 

gave coach-and'faitr to priest* 233, 

married Echarri, 235 

son of, 326 

source of information o*t, 217, 224 

will of, 23&2J7 
La Pumilla, #8, 89, 90 
La Rahida, Monastery of, 71, 112, 


La Raya, Pass of* 12}, 125-127, 187 
La Trompcwsc f 19 
La Vega, CSarcilasco de, chronicle 

by, 130, U5, 165, 174 


Leraos, Count, Viceroy o Lima, 212 
Leon, Ciczadc, 157,196 
at Pachamac, 63 
fought against Gonzalo, 155 
quoted, 160 
on conflict between Gonzalo 

and Nunez, 153-154 
onCuzco, 132 
on Spanish Conquerors, 300 

description of, 45-47, 54-57 
modernness of, 46-47 
Moorish influence in, 46 
Museum of Archaeology in, 67 
Spanish-Colonial type houses, 57 
Uampilla, 72 

Luque, financed Pizarro, 110 
Lurin Valley, 62 

Machu Picchu, 167 
description of, 188 
found by Hiram Bingham, 187* 

trip to, 
Madre de Dios, 176 

description of, 78-79 

Manuelita at, 293 

Museum in, 78 
Magdalena River, 25, 26 
Mala, 143 

and siege of Cuzco, 138#. 

at Vilcabamba, 192 

at Viticos, 187, 197 

crowned Inca, 134 

death of, 157, 197 

Gonzalo sent against, 143 
mantos, described, 261-263 
manzanilla, tea, 220 
Maracaibo, 21, 27 

Mardi Gras Reef, 19 

"Maria Angola," in Cathedral of 

Cuzco, 170 
Maria Ptduna, 50 
Markham, Sir Clements, 113 
Martin, Captain of the Fly, 276 
Martin de Porres, 199#. 

life of, 204 

Novena for, 201 

stories about, 204 

Masias, Friar, image of, in Church 
of Santo Domingo, 200 

friend of Martin, 205 
mate*, tea, 220 
Maule, River, 112 
Maury, Hotel, 53, 300 

age of, 57 

cookery at, 56-57 

description of, 47-48 
May, Stella, 120 
Maza, impresario, 228 
Means, Philip Ainsworth, authority 
on Peru, 19, 71, 78, 101 

quoted, 191, 193 
Medina del Campo, Hcrnando 

imprisoned in, 146, 157 
Mcdway, 257, 260 
Meiggs, Henry, built Oroya Rail- 
road, 60 

Mejia, assistant of Dr. Tello, 80, 84 
Mdchior Carlos, 157, 162, 175 

christening of, 158$. 
Mendoza, 235, 239, 240, 244, 245, 

Mcrimfc, Prosper, La Carrossc du 

Saint Sacrtmcnt, 217 
Mexico, 109 

Miami Morning Herald, 18 
Miller, Colonel William 

and independence of Peru, 247 ff ., 
264, 281 

characteristics of, 28 



Miller, Colonel Williamcontinued 
description of Andean landscape 

quoted, 287 

Miraflores, suburb of Lima, 54, 275 
Moche, art of, 70 

Molina, Father Cristobal de, chron- 
icle by, 130 

Mollcndo, 121, 126, 166 
Monroe, James, president of the 

United States, 238 
and the Monroe Doctrine, 272 
Montalvo, Lorenzo Sanchez dc, 101, 


Moorish influence, in Peru, 165, 219 
Mortia, Friar Martin dc, chronicle 

bj, 130 

Mugaburu, Antonio, angel in Arch- 
bishop's procession, 209 
Mugaburu, Francisco 
carried on Sergeant Mugaburu's 

diary for some time, 214 
reported father's death, 213-214 
Mugaburu, Joseph, in priesthood, 


Mugaburu, Sergeant Jose* dc 
characterization of, 206 
death of, 214 
diary of, 206 

religious dement in, 209 
family of, 209 
promoted, 212 
source for early Lima, 204 
source for Santa Rosa, 201 
mummies, 90 
Paracas Mummy Number 94, 

compared with Egyptian, 86 
Museo Bolivariano, 73 
Myrtle Bank Hotel, 23 

National Museum of Archeology, 

Nazca, art of, 61, 70, 92 
Nepena, art of, 70, 77 
New Granada, 235 
New Laws, 151452, 155 

Offenoach, opera, La Pcrickolc, 217 
O'Higgins, Ambrose, Viceroy of 

Peru, 60, 256 
O'Lcary, Daniel, and independence 

of Peru, 28I#. 
OUantaytambo, 184, 186, 187, 194 

description of, 195 
Orinoco River, 282 
Oroya Railroad, built by Henry 

Mciggs, 60 
Our Lady of the Prado, Convent of, 


Pacasmayo, 94 

compared with Egypt, 66 

description of, 62^56 
Paita, 282 
Palma, Ricardo 

tourcc of material on La Pcrri- 
cboli, 217, 224 

source of material on Manucliu, 

Trtuticioncs, 225 
Palos> 7t 
Pampa dc Arrieros, 122, 183, 243, 

245, 246 
Panama, and the Conquerors, 33, 

34, 36 t 37, 109 
Pan-American Airways, 21 
Paracas, 61, 7&77 
Paraguay, 220 
Paramonga, 70 
PariaKaka, 72 
Pasco, 286 



Paterson, Mr., railroad official, 127, Pizarro, Hernando, 102, 108, 112 


Paterson, Isabel, 185 
Pativilca, 273 
Paullu, brother of Manco, 157 

built San Cristobal, 175 
Peck, Annie 

climbed Huascarin, 41-43, 44 
Pedro Clavcr, 28 

Pedro, Emperor of Brazil, 238, 246 
Perricholi, see La Perricholi 
Picado, secretary to the Marquis, 147 
Picolet, 19 
Pisac, village, 198 
Pisco, 81, 88, 251, 257 

airport at, 89 

Pisco-sours, Lima celebrated for, 56 
Pizarro, Francisco, 16, 40 

and Atahualpa, 100, 105, 117tf, 

and Lima, 136 

asks aid of Cortez, 142 

at Cuzco, 13 1#. 

characteristics of, 149 

death of, 148 

description of, 1 37 

early life of, 108 

had Indian woman put to death, 
145-146, 149, 196 

in Panama, 109$. 

in Santo Domingo, 108 

made Marquis, 136 

on Gallo t 34, 111 

On Gorgona, 32 

returns to Spain to get support of 
Charles V, 111 

ent brother to investigate Pacha- 
camac, 62 

statue in Lima, 59 
Pizarro, Gonzalo, 108, X12, 149 

governor, 154 

10 conflict with Viceroy, 152$, 

sent against Manco, 145 

and Almagro, 135, 144 
at siege of Cuzco, 138 
imprisoned at Medina del Campo, 

sent to explain Almagro affair to 

His Majesty, 145 
sent to Pachacamac by brother, 

62, 65 
took share of Atahualpa's ransom 

to His Majesty, 135 
Pizarro, Juan, 108, 112 
at siege of Cuzco, 137 ff. 
death of, 140 

given Temple of the Sun, 171 
Pizarro, Pedro, 116, 130, 131, 196 
characteristics, 137 
death of, 156 

fought against Gonzalo, 155 
honesty of, 130 
quoted on 

Atahualpa's death, 117-118 
Atahualpa's ransom, 101 
encounter between Atahualpa 

and Pizarro, 107 
family, 137 
Indian woman's death, 145- 


Pizarro's death, 148 
siege of Cuzco, 137$. 
Relation of the Discovery and 
Conquest of the Kingdoms of 
Peru, 157 
Proctor family, see ch. XII 

Quinta Bates, 

Quito, 48, 112, 162, 282, 283 

Rimac River, 44, 215 
Rio dc Janeiro^ 247, 279 
Rocas, 286 



Rodil, royalist officer in charge of 

Callao, 276 
Romero, Doctor Carlos, published 

Mugaburu's diary, 206 

Sacsahuamdn, 155, 162, 175 
Sienz, Manuelita 

and Bolivar, 282$. 

characterization of, 286 

appearance of, 286 

letter to husband, 291-292 
Sailla, flag-station, 179, 181 
Saint Francisco Solano, 204 
Saint Ignatius, 170 
Salciedo, Garcia de, 147 
Salla, 59, 124-126, 168 
Salocchi, Senor, 54 
San Andres, village, 88, 89 
San Bias, Church of, in Cuzco, 171 
Sancho, De La Hoz, Pedro, 130, 131 
San Cristobal, church of, 158, 175, 


San Isidro, suburb of Lima, 54 
San Lorenzo, Island, 277 
San Marcos, University of, 300 
San Martfn 

and Bolivar, 247-258 

statue of, 54 

stayed at Magdalexia, 78 
San Sebastian, 19B 
Santo Ana, Church of, 161-166, 181 
Santo Marta, 27 
Santo Rosa 

image came from Rome, 213 

life of, 201 

Lima's patron saint, 200 
Santo Toribio, 204 
Santiago, 239 
Santo Domingo, Church, in Lima, 

199, 226, 233 

Santo Domingo, monastery of, in 
Cuzco, 161, 170 

Sarasara, 120 

say a, described, 261-263 

Scadta airplane company , 21, 25 

Serra, Senor Vivas, 102, 104-105 

Shippee Johnson, expedition, 95 

Sierra, of the Andes, 43, 48, 75, 

184, 197, 218, 219, 225, 282, 

292, 294 

Smith, Dr. Archibald, 263, 270 
quoted on esprit de corps of 

women, 264 
Solimani, 120 
soroche, 123 

South American Pilot, 18 
Southern Railroad of Peru, 183 
Spanish Main, 28 
Squier, E. G*, description of mum- 

mies of Pachacamac, 63-61 
Staircase of Fountains, at Machu 

Picchu, 190 
Sucre* General Antonio Jo*c t and in- 

dependence of Peru, 



first landing in Peru, 39 

loveliness of, 39 
Tcllo, Elena, 73 
Tello, Dr. Julio CX, 67 

and Paracas Mummy Number 94 

and Ricardo Pa j ma ? 76 

discovered archaeological centers, 

early life of, 72 

education of, 75, 7&77 

father of, 74 

mother of, 72-74, 75 
Temple of the Sun, in Cusco, 1 61, 

textiles, 67 

Paracas textile, 90, 92 
Thorne, James, husband of Manue- 
lita Saenz, 285 


Titicaca, Lake, 113, 124, 162 
Tito, 59, 96, 98, 101, 117, 124, 168 
Toledo, Viceroy Don Francisco de, 

Tomas, Friar, raised from dead by 

Martin, 204 

Tnijillo, 88-89, 94, 95, 98, 259, 
260, 261, 269, 272, 273, 284, 
285, 294 
landing at, 41 
portrait vases found around, 68, 


Tumaco, 32, 34, 35, 36 
Tumbez, 111,154 
Tupac Amaru, Inca prince, 157, 

158, 159, 162, 169, 175, 191 
Tupac Amaru II, 248 

Urcos, village, 198 
Urubamba River, 187, 188, 195 

Valparaiso, 249, 257 
Valverdc, priest, 16, 106, 118, 170 
Vargas, Diego de, 147 
Vega, Lope dc, La Perricholi gave 
scenes from comedies of, 221 

Vega Montoya, Francisco de, told 
about Martin, 205 

Venezuela, 27, 123, 235, 281, 284, 

Vida Prodtgiosa, 206 

Villcgas, Felix, brother of La Perri- 
choli, 222, 230, 236 

Villegas, Micaela 
sec La Perricholi 

Virgin of Rosario, Novcna for, 208 

Viticos, 187, 192 

Weiner, French explorer, 188 
Wader, Thornton 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, 217 
Wortley, Lady Emmelinc Stuart, 

Xeres, Francisco de, 116, 130 

Yuayos, Indian tribe, 72 
Yucay, Valley of, 157, 170 

zaguan, 58 

zambo, at Manta, 35 

Zirate, Angela de, Abbess, 207